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Gc M. L. 






3 1833 01149 0015 












Entered, according to Act of Congress, in tbc year 1859, 


Id the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District 
of Obio. 


The narratives contained in the following pages 

were furnished me by their respective authors, 

nearly all of whom wrote in the German language. 

In making the translations into English, slight 

^ changes in the phraseology have, in a few instances, 

^ been made, yet not so as to convey any meaning 

'•^ different from that intended by the author. The 

translations, it is admitted, might have been made 

'^ to wear a smoother English dress; but it was 

^ thought best to change the peculiar idioms and 

^ forms of expression as little as possible. In a few 

-^ instances I have been compelled to abridge the 

4 communications, where a detailed account of the 

^ progress of the German mission work was given, 

n But most of all I regret being compelled to omit 

<» several sketches, lest the work should be extended 

I to undue proportions. 

° My object has been to present to the public a 
** volume of experience, in reference to a very im- 
^ portant point in the character of a Christian min- 
^ ister — an evangelical conversion. The question has 
sometimes been asked, "Where did the Methodist 
Church get all these German preachers?" And 
some, not very friendly to our operations among 
the Germans, have come to the conclusion that they 


•were mostly disaffected or refused preachers from 
other denominations, and therefore not to be relied 
upon. The reader will find in the following pages 
that these men have been mostly awakened, con- 
verted, and brought forward into the ministry ac- 
cording to the customs and usages of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church. lie will not fail to notice that 
this work has gradually increased till our German 
missionaries are in almost every part of our country 
where German settlements have been made. 

There are often allusions to the Lutheran Church, 
and to the loose morals of her clergymen. These 
have reference to the National Church in Germany, 
where unconverted, and often ungodly, ministers are 
placed over the people. The Evangelical Lutheran 
Church in America is in a very different condition ; 
and among the so-called " New measure party " 
there is much of the life and power of true godli- 
ness. There has also been a great change in Ger- 
many within the last ten or fifteen years. A new 
spiritual life is diSusing itself throughout the Na- 
tional Church, and the light of divine truth is gradu- 
ally dispelling the clouds of a rationalistic philosophy. 

AuAJi Miller. 

MoUKT Pi.EASAXT, loWA, ,. 

January 17, 1859. 


I TAKE great pleasure in introducing to the Amer- 
ican public the following volume, which contains nar- 
ratives of remarkable conversions to God, and these 
so connected Avith a cause that has told, and will tell, 
I doubt not, to great advantage on the evangelization 
of Germans in America; and this seems no more 
than a mere introduction to what is to be accomplished 
in Germany itself. Since the rise of this great 
movement we see the beginnings of others of a 
smaller character among the various branches of the 
Scandinavian people, whose first converts in America 
are even now laboring in the father-lands for the 
conversion of their brethren there. 

As introductory to this volume, I will take leave to 
present a few historical remarks in reference to 
Wesley's first acquaintance with the Germans, as well 
as some observations on the theme of Dr. Miller's 

In the year 1735, on the 14th day of October, Mr. 
Wesley set sail from England as a missionary to 
America. On the 17th day of the same month he 
commenced the study of the German language, in 
order to converse with the Germans, twenty-six of 
whom were on board. On the 21st he joined with 


the Germans in their pul)lic services. On Sabbath, 
January 25th, while the ship encountered a terrible 
storm, and serious apprehensions Avcre felt for the 
safety of the ship, he saw the pious Germans calm 
amidst the ragings of the storm, and found, upon 
inquiry, that their calmness was owing to their strong 
faith in God's mercy, which he then felt and acknowl- 
edged he had not. After his arrival in America on 
the 7th of February, Mr. Spangenberg put some close 
questions to Mr. "Wesley, in reference to his accept- 
ance Avith God through a living faith in Christ, and 
on the following Monday related to him his own 
experience, which had a further effect to awaken 
"Wesley to the knowledge of the great truth by which 
he afterward awakened all England from spiritual 

After an absence of more than two years, Mr. 
Wesley returned to England, declaring that he had 
gone to America to convert the Indians, and in the 
mean time learned from these pious Germans that he 
was not converted himself. On the 4th of March, 
1738, Mr. "Wesley found Peter Boehler with his brotlicr 
at Oxford, "by whom," says he, "in the hand of the 
great God, on Saturday, the 5th, I was clearly 
convinced of unbelief, of the want of that faith 
whereby alone we are saved with the full Christian 

The instructions given to Mr. Wesley by this 
pious German minister were of great advantage to 
him. Under the ministrations of Boehler, Wesley 
commenced preaching, as he called it, the " new 


doctrine." On the 26tli of April, 1738, he says: 
"Peter Boehler walked with me a few miles, and 
exhorted me not to stop short of the grace of God;" 
and Wednesday, May 3d, he says : " My brother had 
a long and particular conversation with Peter Boehler, 
and it now pleased God to open his eyes, so that he 
also saw clearly what was the nature of that one true 
living faith whereby alone, 'through grace, we are 
saved.' " 

Not satisfied with these frequent interviews with 
the pious Germans, whom he had met in America and 
England, he resolved to visit Germany; and accord- 
ingly, on the 13th of June, 1738, he set out with the 
view of visiting the pious German Moravians at 
Herrnhutt. On his arrival among these German 
Moravians Mr. Wesley gained increasing light and 
strength, and translated some of their hymns into the 
English language. The 437th hymn in our standard 
Hymn-Book is one of these. The original is intro- 
duced into the German Hymn-Book as the 18th. 

When Mr. Wesley returned to England, preaching 
the doctrine of justification by faith in Christ, the 
Lord owned and blessed his labors, so that in a few 
years a host of strong men were raised up, both in 
and out of the Established Church, who stood as 
living witnesses to the truths they taught. 

Mr. Wesley at an early day collected accounts of 
the awakening and conversion of a number of his 
fellow-laborers, and published a book called the 
"Preachers' Experience." And now, after a little 
over one hundred years, we have seen Methodism 


spreading over England and America, and over many 
of the isles of the seas and foreign lands. While 
God has long permitted us to enjoy these blessings as 
a nation speaking the English language, he finally has 
also opened a highway for the introduction of the 
doctrine and usages of Methodism in this as well as in 
the father-land. Our missionaries are now traveling 
over some of the same ground, and preaching and dis- 
tributing books and tracts in the same towns and cities 
through which Wesley traveled over a hundred years 
ago. The materials for the following work have been 
collected, translated, and arranged by Dr. Miller, to 
show the true Wesleyan and spiritual character of 
these missionary labors. The Methodist Church, 
both in England and America, owes a debt to Ger- 
many which she ought to pay. 

In the following work we have not only an account 
of the awakening, conversion, and call to the minis- 
try of a number of our most prominent German 
missionaries, but also such explanations and remarks 
as to give the reader a correct synopsis of the rise 
and progress of our missions among the Germans. 
There are also to be found in this work some remark- 
able instances of the awakening and conversion of 
some of the private members of the Church, showing 
how the grace of God was manifested in sustaining 
them under the persecutions which they were com- 
pelled to endure. 

As Dr. Miller was himself one among the first 
missionaries, and the first native-born American who 
joined Dr. Nast in his labors among his countrymen, 


and as he appears to have been led into this work 
bj a remarkable providence, he has very properly 
given his own experience more in detail than others. 
Having myself had a knowledge of the community 
to which he refers, and of the strictness of their 
rules, it may be considered a great manifestation of 
God's grace to deliver him from this darkness and 
bring him into the light of the Gospel. 

But I must not enlarge. Let the reader peruse 
this volume, and he will find an amount of matter 
respecting religious awakenings and conversions of a 
truly-apostolic character. It is a book for America, 
Germany, and England. It should be bought and 
read by many thousands in these countries. I need 
not exhort any here to buy this book, for I am confi- 
dent that it will be bought and read in great numbers. 
It will tell its own story and dijSVise a good spirit in 
the mind of every reader. And yet I believe it is 
only a mere introductory narrative of what Avill be- 
come one of the most important religious movements 
of the evangelical and orthodox Church of Christ. 

CuARLES Elliott. 

Iowa Wesleyan University, January 1, 1859. 


Preface Page 3 

Inteoduction ^ 

Preliminary Discourse 19 


Adam Miller: Birth — Removal to Ohio — Society of Mennonites— 
Education and training — Methodist preaching — Sent to English 
school — Learns the nature of true religion — Awakened— Spiritual 
exercises — Leaves the Mennonites — Joins the Methodist Church- 
Conversion — Sickness and death of his grandfather — Licensed to 
exhort — Attends camp meeting at Canton — Incidents — Family 
Prayer — Conversion of his sister, and of other members of the fam- 
ily — Leaves home — Goes to Knox county — Licensed to preach— 
Recommended to annual conference — Is received and appointed to 
Nicholas circuit, Virginia — Incidents 43 


Adam Miller: Determines to study the German— Finds William 
Nast Desires from him instruction in German — Takes him to Vir- 
ginia—Incidents on the way— Translation of Methodist ritual and 
General Rules into German— Return of "William Nast to Ohio- 
Perseveres in the study of German— Attempts at German preach- 
ing—Conversion of brother Nast— Visits him— Brother Nast li- 
censed to preach— Removal to Greenville circuit, Ohio— Voyage 
down the Kanawha— Hardships of the itinerant life— Means of 
support — Poverty — Commencement of German missions — Unprom- 
ising beginning— Dr. Nast's labors— Incidents— Appointed to Mil- 
ford circuit— German preaching in Cincinnati— Missionary labors- 
First sacramental service in the German mission— Christian Apol- 
ogist established— Spread of the German work 59 


William Nast: Birth and training— Religious tutelage— Confirma- 
tion— Death of his father— Education for tho ministry — Dr. 


StransF — Rationftlistio associations — University life — Becomes a 
Pantheist and freo-thinkor — Tlopays the expenses of his odtication — 
Literary labors — Migrates to America — Learns English — Acquaint- 
ance with Methodists — Resides at West Point — Is converted from 
his skepticism — Attends Methodist preaching — Awakening — At- 
tends camp meeting — Is encouraged by his friends — Is cmploj-ed as 
teacher in Kcnyon College — Religious efforts — Conversion — License 
to jircach — Admission into conference — Establishment of the first 
German mission Pack 76 


John SwAni.KX: Religious training — Confirmation — Emigrates to 
America — Awakening — Attends Methodist preaching — Is con- 
verted — Licensed to exhort — Sent out as missionary — Yisifs Wheel- 
ing — Receives license to preach — Admitted into conference — First 
German Methodist church built — Labors and success S9 


G. A. Breuxig: Birth — Catholic training — Confession to the priest — 
Loose notions of religion — Character of the ministry and people — 
Awakening — Comes to America — Determines to lead a new life — 
Is instructed by a Lutheran friend — Reads the Bible — Suspects the 
errors of Romanism — Still continues to attend mass — Prefers Prot- 
estant worship — Visited by a priest — Mental conflicts — Desires to 
find the truth — Abandons Romanism — Finds religious associates — 
Evangelical Lutherans — Prayer meetings — Conversion — Attends the 
Methodist meetings — Joins the Church — Is licensed as eshortor 
and local preacher — Admitted into conference — Labors as a mis- 
sionary 93 


William AniiKSs: Childhood — Education — Confirmation — Habits of 
life — The Church — Convictions of sin — Worldly amusements — Mo- 
rality — Moral weakness — Providentially saved from death — Mi- 
grates to this country — Arrival — Visits Cincinnati — Boards with a 
Methodist family — Is awakened — Seeks for salvation — Mental dis- 
tress — Deliverance and conversion — Joins the Church — Becomes a 
preacher — Missionary labors 105 


ENOELnARDT RiEMKXScnNEiDEB: Birth — Loaves home — Is awakened — 
Joins the Church— Spiritual distress— Visits Pittsburg— Conver- 
sion — Call to the ministry — Licensed as oxhortcr — As preacher — 
Joins the conference ll'J 



Lttdtvig S. Jacoby: Early experience — Comes to America — Attends 
German Methodist Church — Awakening — Repentance — Joins the 
Church — Conversion — Called to the ministry — Becomes exhorter — 
Becomes preacher — Sent to St. Louis — Commences the mission — 
Incidents — Erection of church — Foreign mission Page 125 


C. H. DoERiNG: Birth — Confirmation — Customs of the Church — Leaves 
home — Studies English — Comes to this country — Settles in "Wheel- 
ing — Besides in a Methodist family — Attends Methodist meeting — 
Awakening — Conversion — License to exhort — Enters Alleghany 
College — Becomes a preacher — Joins conference 137 


G. L. Mulfingee: Training — Religious experience — Removes to Amer- 
ica — Skepticism — Awakening — Conversion — New thoughts and de- 
sires — Temptations — Becomes an exhorter — Becomes a preacher — 
Joins conference 146 


H. Koeneke: Early life — Habits — Seeks for religious associations — 
Meets with pious people — Repentance — Opposition from his wife — 
Is converted, with his wife — Comes to America — Settles in Wheel- 
ing — Becomes a Methodist — Licensed to preach — Incidents — Suc- 
cess of German missions .- 157 


G. Danker: Early religious experience — Awakening and conversion — 
Enters the ministry — Comes to America — Unites with the Meth- 
odists — Received as a minister — Mission labors. Charles Hel- 
wiG: Birth and education — Emigrates to America — Attends evan- 
gelical worship — Unites with the Methodist Church — Licensed as 
preacher and joins conference. J, H. Baheenburg: Early train- 
ing — Awakening — Conversion— Comes to this country — Joins the 
Methodists — Is licensed to preach — Enters tho traveling min- 
istry 174 


Peter "Wilkins: Education — Leaves home — Teaches school — Death 
of his sister — Comes to America — Hears evangelical preaching — Is 


awakened and converted — Licensed to preach — Joins the confer- 
ence Page 183 


CnARLF.s Koexkke: Migrates to this country — Goes to Methodist 
meetings — Is awakened — Conversion — Joins the Church — Licensed 
to preach — Enters conference — Incidents. Jons A. Klein: Birth 
and education — Comes to America — Attends meeting and joins tho 
Methodist Church — Thrown into wicked associations — Persecuted 
by his family — Led astray — Becomes hardened — Is awakened — 
Conversion — Awakening and conversion of his parents and broth- 
ers — Enters the ministry 189 


Lewis Nippert: Removal to America — Religious trainings-Awaken- 
ing and conversion of friends — Lutheran prejudices — Conversion of 
his parents — Enmity to Methodism — Is awakened, converted, and 
unites with tho Church — Goes to Cincinnati and learns the art of 
printing — Becomes a preacher — Enters confercnec — Missionary to 
Germany. Philip Kuhl: Early training — Comes to America — Ig- 
norance of true religion — Goes to New Orleans — Returns to his 
parents in Illinois — Attends evangelical churches — Incidents — 
Awakening and conversion — Becomes acquainted with and joins 
the Methodist Church — Call to tho ministry — Licensed to exhort 
and to preach — Joins tho conference 199 


Jony Bier: Early life — Education — Removal to America — Attends 
Methodist meetings — Convicted of sin — Is awakened — Tempta- 
tions — Deliverance — Is converted — Joins tho Church — Labors 
among his associates — Call to the ministry — Preparatory labors — 
Incident — Licensed to preach — Enters conference — Incidents... 212 


Nicholas Nuhfer: Educated in tho Catholic Church — Mcota with tho 
Bible — Comes to America — Convicted of sin — Endeavors to repent — 
Is instructed in tho truth — Attends Methodist meetings — Opposi- 
tion from his mother — Begins family worship — Is converted — Joins 
the Church — Enters tho ministry. J. II. Bartr: Early life — Re- 
moval to this country — Lciirns English — Death of his father in 
great peace — Goes to Louisville — Hears German Methodist preach- 
ing — Is awakened — Goes to class meeting — Unites with the Church — 
Convorsion — Enters the ministry 223 



William Schreck: Birth and education — Comes to America — Lives in 
a Methodist family — Attends Methodist worship — Awakening — 
Conversion — Call to the ministry — Joins the Church and enters the 
ministry. John Plank: Birth and early training — Emigrates to 
America — Opposition to Methodism — Long-continued sickness — 
Removal to northern Missouri — Relapse of sickness — Awakening — 
Temptations — Conversion — Enters the ministry. Casper Jost: Ed- 
ucated in the Catholic faith — Comes to America and settles in Mis- 
souri — Goes to Protestant meeting — Visits the Methodist church — 
Awakened and converted — Joins the Church — Licensed to exhort 
and preach — Enters the ministry Page 236 


Charles Schelper: Emigrates to this country — Attends Methodist 
meetings — Is awakened and converted — Enters the ministry. Se- 
bastian Barth: Attends Methodist service — Awakening — Joins the 
Church — Conversion — Becomes colporteur — Enters the ministry. 
Herman Koch: Comes to this country — Awakening — Goes to Meth- 
odist preaching and class meetings — Conversion — Ministry and mis- 
sionary labors. John Mann: Awakening — Seeking for pardon — • 
Conversion — Called to preach — Is received into conference 248 


John Phetzing: Birth — Religious instruction — Comes to America — 
Settles in Wheeling — Conviction of sin — Goes to class meeting — 
Joins the Church — Awakening — Conversion — Visit to Germany — 
Incidents — Returns to America — Enters the ministry. Conrad 
Gahn: Childhood — Religious impressions — Emigrates to America — 
Methodist meetings — Convictions of sin — Penitential sorrow — Con- 
version — Unites with the Church — Call to the ministry — Licensed 
as exhorter and preacher — Enters the conference 256 


John Haas: Residence in St. Louis — Sends children to Sunday 
school — Family attends Methodist meetings — Is induced to go with 
them — Awakening — Conversion — Call to the ministry — Joins the 
conference. William Fiegenbaum: Comes to America — Early im- 
pressions — Hears Methodist preaching — Is awakened and con- 
verted — Called to preach — Joins conference. John L. Walther: 
Early training — Rationalistic instruction — Emigration to Amer- 
ica — Companions of the voyage — Incident — Removal to Cincin- 


nati — Attends Methodist meeting — Conversion of his wife — Unites 
•with the Church — Becomes a backslider — Piety of his wife — Her- 
sickness — He is awakened — Conversion — Reunites with the Church — 
Enters the ministry Page 270 


J. M. Winkler: Reared in the Catholic faith — Becomes an altar-at- 
tendant on the priest — Death of his mother — Conversation with 
his father — Conversation with the priest — Incident — Confirmation — 
Reads the Bible — Ceases to go to confession — Incident — Letters 
from America — Determines to emigrate — Goes once more to con- 
fession — Ridiculous penance imposed on him — Sets out for this 
country — Storm on the ocean — Arrival and settlement — Methodist 
influences — Awakening — Conversion — Persecuted by his friends — 
Enters the ministry — His father comes to America — Incident — Con- 
version of his father — Mission work 284 


Chaeles Augustus Emmanuel Heetel: Nativity — Training — Re- 
markable providence — Death of his father — Confirmed — Amuse- 
ments — Studies — Enters the army — Leaves it for the university — 
Irreligious associations — Death of his mother — Goes into busi- 
ness — Emigrates to America — Methodist preaching — Conversion — 
Call to the ministry — Sickness — Marriage — Licensed to preach — 
Ministerial labors 297 


Geoege Andee: Comes to America — Attendance at Church — Skei>- 
ticism — Awakening — Conversion — Enters the ministry — Missionary 
labors. Eeedeeic Kopp: Birth and training — Letters from Amer- 
ica — Desire to migrate — Comes to this country — Settles in AVis- 
consin — German Methodist preaching — Awakening — Conversion — 
Call to the ministry — Enters conference — Missionary influence. 
IIeney Henke: Education — Religious impressions — Comes to Amer- 
ica — Settles in AVhecling — Hears Methodist preaching — Awaken- 
ing, conversion, and call to the ministry ^ 309 


John Schmidt: Comes to America — Wanderings — Stops in Louis- 
ville — Lives in a Methodist family — Is awakened— Converted — 
Enters the ministry. Henet Kolbe: Emigrates to this country — 
Attends Methodist preaching— Spiritual exercises— Conversion — 
Encouraged to preach — Joins the conference — Missionary labors. 


Geokge Boeshenz: Early training— Comes to this country— Mar- 
riage— Attends Lutheran and Methodist iireaching— Awakening- 
Seeking the Savior— Conversion— Call to the ministry Page 323 


Erhaedt Wundeelich: Birth— Education— Eationalism— Comes to 
America— Determines to lead a new life— Is awakened— Joins the 
Methodist Church by a singular mistake— Its benefit to him— Con- 
version-Return to Germany— Conversations on religion— Begins 
to proclaim Christ— Persecuted by the people— Opposed by the gov- 
ernment— Incident— Returns to this country— Enters the minis- 
try—Influence of his labors at his old home. Chaeles A. Mil- 
itzer: Birth and education— Religious impressions— Hears Erhardt 
Wunderlich preach— Is awakened and converted— Is licensed to 
preach— Comes to this country 337 

Petee Moklling: Enters a monastery— Studies for the priesthood- 
Life at the Gymnasium— Religious instruction— Meets with Prot- 
estant books— Reads the Bible— Interrupted in its perusal— Reflec- 
tions— Desires light— Biblical interpretations— Talk with the. un- 
der-regent— Is put into confinement— Doubts— Lecture of the pre- 
bendary—Goes home— Protestant help— Returns to the cloister- 
Interview with the regent— Escapes from the monastery— Attends 
Protestant worship— Comes to America— Religious experience- 
Attends Methodist preaching— Hears the Gospel— Is converted— 
Joins the Methodist Church 347 


Frederic Heller: Early training— Awakening— Conversion— Temp- 
tations— Comes to America— Becomes careless— Is again awak- 
ened—Is restored to spiritual life— Joins Church— Is licensed to 
exhort— Enters the ministry. H. Fiegenbaum: Emigrates to Amer- 
ica—In the wilderness— Methodist preaching— Goes to St. Louis— 
Converted— Joins Church— Call to the ministry— Enters conference. 
Fredeeic W. Flocken: Education— Comes to this country— Hears 
Methodist preaching— Awakening-Conversion— Enters the min- 
istry— Sent as missionary to Bulgaria 363 


R. Shobe: Early life— Religious experience— Comes to America- 
Hears Methodist preaching-Unites with the Methodist Church— 
Euteiv, the ministry-Missionary labors. Rudoli-j Havighobst: 


Education — Migrates to this country — Religious impressions — Sick- 
ness — Methodist preaching — Awakening — Conversion — Becomes a 
preacher. Theodore Miller: Birth and training — Migration to 
America — Is awakened — Joins the Church — Is converted and li- 
censed to preach Page 376 


(Jeorge a. Retiter: Comes to America — Attends camp meeting — 
Conversion of his wife — Ho is awakened and converted — Joins tho 
Methodist Church — Preaches at a funeral — Enters conference. 
Paul Brodbeck: Catholic training — Marries a Methodist girl — At- 
tends Methodist preaching — Awakened and converted — Persecu- 
tion — Enters the ministry. Frederic Schuler: Nativity — Emi- 
gration — Methodist preaching — Awakening and conversion — Enters 
conference. Henry Ellerbeck: Early life-^Comes to America — 
Methodist preaching— Conversion — Joins conference 387 


Frederic Merten: Religious impressions — Conversion — Irreligious 
surroundings — Becomes cold in religion — Quickened again unto 
life — Joins the Methodist Church — Preaches and receives license — • 
Enters conference. Christian Nachtrieb: Early life — Comes to 
America — Awakening and conversion — Temptations — Enters con- 
ference. Gerhard Timken: Migration — Conversion — Licensed to 
preach — Enters conference. H. Schnittker: Birth — Religious 
training — Comes to America — Camp meeting — Conversion — Back- 
slides — Is reclaimed — Enters the ministry 400 

Statistics op German Methodism 415 






With the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the 
mouth confession is made unto salvation. — Romans x, 10. 

It is true, as Christ has said, that "Wisdom is 
justified of her children." Those doctrines of the 
Christian revelation which annoy the unregenerate, 
become as "marrow and fatness" to them who are 
born of God. The believer can bear witness. Per- 
haps, before conversion, nothing perplexed him more 
than faith; whereas, after conversion, nothing filled 
him with greater admiration. Then he could realize 
the force of those words, "Believe on the Lord Jesus 
Christ, and thou shalt be saved." "He that believeth 
on the Son hath everlasting life." 

Confession, as well as faith, is to many a " stone 
of stumbling." Christians attach an importance to 
both, which, in the view of unbelievers, is wholly 
unaccountable. Unsanctified reason is confounded 
that righteousness should be wrapped up in faith, and 


salvation be made to liinge on confession. Yet God 
has so ordained. And if these connections are 
mysterious and even repulsive to the unbelieving, 
they are simple as well as grateful to him who enjoys 
their saving benefits : " The secret of the Lord is 
with them that fear him, and he will show them his 

The text presents for discussion faith and con- 
fession, with the Scriptural relations or dependen- 
cies of each. 

I. Faith — that faith which is "unto righteous- 
ness " — is, in *the , language of the text, believing 
"with the heart." In other words, it is such a be- 
lief in divine revelation as involves not only a con- 
viction of its truth, but a hearty delight in it. As 
thus defined, it is, 

1. Simple belief. This is an ofiice of the mind. 
It is the mere perception of truth as such, regardless 
of its bearing on our interests or affections. Applied 
to Christianity, it is crediting the Scriptures as a 
divine revelation, with all the truths which their just 
interpretation inculcates; and especially those Gos- 
pel statements which may be aptly called the test 
truths of the system, one of which is named in the 
context : " If thou slialt confess with thy mouth the 
Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that 
God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be 
saved." Not that crediting this isolated fact would 
save a man, but that the confession of this off"ensive 
feature of the Gospel, in the face of persecution, im- 
plied a full Christian faith. But, according to the 
text, saving faith is more than this simple belief. 
It is, 


2. Believing '■^tvith the hearth It is gust as well 
as vision. It not only credits, but relishes the truths 
of revelation. It is not only convinced, for instance, 
that Christ is risen from the dead, but, like Mary at 
the sepulcher, \b joyfidlij convinced; and, in the sur- 
prise of rapt affection, cries out "vvith Thomas, " My 
Lord and my God!" Let us dwell a moment on 
this feature of saving faith. 

Propositions addressed to men's understandings 
produce a great variety of inward states — in the 
mind — among others — belief and unbelief; and in the 
affections, gratification and regret. How various the 
effects produced by a series of reports made to an 
avaricious merchant concerning one of his ships at 
sea — as, first, that she is lost, with crew and cargo; 
which, believed, inflicts pain. Second, that she out- 
rode the storm, and is safe, which, (disbelieved, pro- 
duces equal disappointment. But at last the ship 
comes in, and the commander in person reports her 
safety and successes. This is credited with joy. 

The first is an example of speculative faith, like 
his who credits Christianity, but feels that it is a 
sentence of condemnation to him. Of such there are 
thousands. They are not the absolutely stupid, who 
scarcely take the pains to believe or disbelieve ; but 
are persons of more serious convictions, whose faith 
disturbs their consciences — who, moved by the Spirit, 
concede the truth of Christianity with some solici- 
tude, but find their tastes and views of interest at 
war with their convictions. Their belief iviiliout the 
heart is an important element of faith; but, of itself, 
it can neither comfort nor save. It belongs in com- 
mon to anxious sinners, undone reprobates, and fallen 


angels — " Thou believest there is one God ; thou do- 
est well. The devils also believe and tremble." 

It may be questioned if the second example ap- 
plies to our theme. Yet there are men who say they 
wish to believe the Bible, if they could find reason- 
able proofs of its divine inspiration. "Wish to be- 
lieve and can not!" It is possible. For we learn 
that men may "resist the Holy Ghost" — may resist 
till they are forsaken to blindness of mind — are given 
"over to believe a lie." Then light becomes dark- 
ness, and darkness light unto them. They who 
"would believe the Bible, if they could," should look, 
alarmed, into their own religious history, and consider 
if they have not armed themselves against believing. 
They Avho first " turn away their ears from hearing 
truth," may at last "5e turned unto fables." If we 
struggle for years to disbelieve the Gospel, no won- 
der that, God-forsaken, we at last make it out. 

The third example illustrates saving faith, which, 
as stated, is the joyful belief of Gospel truth — 
which credits Christian doctrine as the testimony of 
God, and exults over it as good news from heaven. 
Such faith the Psalmist had : " Thy word is very pure ; 
therefore thy servant loveth it." " I rejoice at thy 
word as one that findeth great spoil." 

3. This faith has Scriptural limits. As a specula- 
tion, it credits all Bible truth; as an afi'ection, it 
relishes or delights in all. The believing heart is 
docile. It first seeks to know, and then " receives 
with meekness the ingrafted word." There is an 
easy faith, which, not content with the old, sets itself 
to frame a new Bible. It expurgates and adds. It 
fondly canonizes one series of texts and sharpens 


criticism against another series. It is a bold opera- 
tor. It leans with composure over the Bible ; moves 
and cuts, light-fingered, through and through its 
pages; and in its progress makes and unmakes 
worlds, quenches and kindles hells, or changes the 
date and venue of these small things at pleasure ! 

True faith is quite another thing. It will not have 
a syllable added or blotted in God's book. It abhors 
all expurgations. It will not tolerate tradition as a 
supplement to Scripture. Its language is, "The 
Bible, the whole Bible, and notJiing hut the Bi- 
ble !" He who has this faith can say, " I love thy 
commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold." 
"How sweet is thy word unto my taste! yea, sweeter 
than honey to my mouth." 

4. This faith embraces self-application. What it 
credits it also appropriates to its legitimate end; 
otherwise it could not be a hearty faith. How can 
we cordially embrace the averments, while we decline 
the Gospel uses, of God's truth? Does not the same 
authority which attests to us the truth, assure to us 
also its uses and its eflicacy? Take the promise, 
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt 
be saved." Here are three particulars. The first is 
faith: '■'■Believe." The second is the object of faith: 
" O71 the Lord Jesus Christ." The third is the efficacy 
of faith: "vlwc? thou shalt he saved." Must not faith 
in this promise embrace each of these particulars? 
If it leave out the second, "Jesus Christ," can it be 
a hearty faith? No more can it be hearty if it 
leave out the third particular, "Thou shalt be saved." 
To doubt the efficacy of the promise as much dishon- 


ors God, as to doubt its wliole triitJi, seeing bota are 
vouched for by the very same authority. 

But cordially to believe each particular of this 
promise is so to believe it as to secure or to exj^eri- 
e7ice its efficacy — because the only authorized method 
to obtain the virtue of it is to "believe it with the 
heart." Observe, however, we say cordially, or 
"with the heart;" as this qualification is the safe- 
guard of the doctrine. For faith which thus involves 
the affections is divinely wrought — is " of the opera- 
tion of God." 

It follows, then, in regard to thus believing with 
the heart that it is a state of salvation — not of fin- 
ished salvation, but of " righfcous77ess" which prepares 
for, and is an element of it. This is no more than 
to say that faith in this promise is such a state as 
God has pledged shall be the adjunct of faith. And 
here we are brought to 

II. The ScriiJtuj^al relation of faith and righteous- 

Righteousness, in the text, has its evangelical 
import, and means that freedom from guilt which 
follows pardon, and that moral purity which flows 
from " sanctification of the Spirit." Faith in Christ 
is the condition on which these are received. The 
text declares, "With the heart man believes unto 
[both these branches of] righteousness." Not that 
faith justifies by its intrinsic merit, or sanctifies by 
its inherent power. The words are, "Believeth u7ito 
righteousness." The merit is in Christ. The right- 
eousness is not i7i, but throngh faith, which derives 
to the soul a gracious dispensation of God's pardon- 
ing .and purifying love. But as fiiith, and faith alone. 


can reach this righteousness, it is known m Scripture 
as " the risfhteousness of faith." 

As to pardon, the Bible teaches us, " Bj Him all 
that believe are justified from all things, from which 
they could not be justified by the law of Moses." 
"But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him 
that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for 
righteousness." " Therefore we conclude that a man 
is justified by faith without' the deeds of the law." 
In regard to purity the apostle says, " And put no 
difi'erence between us and them, purifying their hearts 
hy faiths "That they may receive forgiveness of 
sins, and inheritance among all them that are sancti- 
fied through faith that is in me." These, with many 
other texts, clearly show that both pardon and 
sanctification are received through faith. We may 
add, each blessing is enjoyed whenever the promises 
which specifically pledge the one or the other are 
believed tvith the heart. 

It should be stated that the words, " man believeth 
unto righteousness," have not only an inclusive, but 
an exclusive force. Besides proclaiming the efiicacy 
of faith, they enforce the inefiicacy of all other things, 
except as other things involve or infer faith. This is 
plain from the connection. The preceding verses 
array the righteousness of the law, as to its saving 
efiicacy, against the righteousness of faith, and 
condemn the Jews for going about to establish the 
former, called " their own righteousness," instead of 
submitting themselves to the latter, called "the right- 
eousness of God." In this connection the text 
clearly and forcibly denies that righteousness can be 
attained by any means but faith. God chooses none 


to salvation but " through sanctification of the Spirit^ 
and belief of the truth." 

None, then, can devise a substitute for faith, which 
has not a concurrent but an exclusive jurisdiction, so 
to speak, over the grace which saves. All merit is in 
Christ. All ways of seizing it are one ; namely, faith. 
We can acquire no merit by any amount of effort or 
penance on our part. The holiest saints that live, or 
ever lived, are so far behind all works of deserving, 
that they have no plea for seZf-security, to say nothing 
of those rich supererogations Avhich are cheaply set 
over to the credit of the needy, " whose recanted 
heresies do not yield to the ordinary remedies. All 
are needy, and all are guilty. "All have sinned," 
says the apostle, " and come short of the glory of 
God." All, then, must fly to the cross. Looking to 
be saved in other ways is to reproach that very cross ; 
for "if righteousness come by the law, then is Christ 
dead in vain." 

As to our guilt, so far from being removed, not a 
grain's weight can it be lightened by the sorest grief 
for sin; by reformations the most exact; by self- 
denials the most rigid; by penances the most abject, 
painful, and protracted. Should we commence all 
these in early childhood, and pursue them unremit- 
tingly till death, so far from saving, without faith they 
would involve us in growing guilt and ruin ; and the 
law which we "thought to be unto life," we should 
find "to be unto death." All such struggles after 
life by the law would proclaim our disparaging views 
of the Gospel ; for, like Judaism, it would be going 
about to establish our own righteousness instead of 
submitting to the righteousness of God. From these 


self-righteous deeds and self-denials, we must turn to 
naked trust in Christ ; or the Gospel, so full of mercy, 
Avill denounce in thunder-tones, "By the deeds of 
the law shall no flesh be justified." "He that 
believeth not, shall be damned." 

To this wholesome doctrine there is nothing to 
object. Other things than faith may seem to be made 
conditions of salvation; but they are all so related 
to faith, as to make the latter really the condition. 
Sometimes salvation seems to hinge on repentance; 
as, "Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish;" 
but repentance is connected with faith as its fore- 
runner. So of prayer : the context says, " Whoso- 
ever shall call on the name of the Lord, shall be 
saved ; but," it is added, " how shall they call on him, 
in whom they have not believed?" showing that 
prayer involves faith. James would seem to teach 
that we are saved by works ; but he only means that 
faith, without works, is simple belief, and not belief 
" with the heart." His doctrine is, that, unless our 
deeds indicate our faith, our faith is defective, and 
can not save our souls. And here we pass to another 
branch of the subject ; namely, 

III. Confession, which is also named in the text as 
a condition of salvation ; but which, as we shall see 
when it comes in place, has this efiicacy simply as 
the cherisher and exemplifier of faith. Let us now 
glance at the nature, the matter, and the mode of 

1. Its nature is not determined by the meaning 
of the word; which denotes assent to imputations on 
our conduct, or the voluntary exposure of our evil 
thoughts or deeds. This is a frequent meaning of it 


in the Bible. The Israelites thus confessed, under 
the reproofs of faithful prophets; and thus "\ve are 
told to " confess our faults 'P ie to another." 

The confession named "» the text is not of crime 
but rather of religious grace and virtue ; namely^ 
faith in Christ. Yet it is confession; for it is, by 
some, denounced as crime. Moreover, ancient forms 
of martyrdom often challenged recantation with the 
promise of escape ; and to avow faith in Christ, under 
such appalling circumstances, might well be called 
"confession." But this avowal was confession, 
whether with or without challenge ; and so it is to this 
day. If without, it is sometimes called ^jro/e-ss/ow; 
and this has Scripture warrant. Thomas confessed, 
when he cried, " My Lord and my God !" as well as 
Stephen, who testified before enraged foes. And if 
the attending trials make it a "confession," there are 
crosses besides martyrdom. Derision and reproach 
can wound as well as wild beasts; and when the 
former assail us at the sacred fireside, they may well 
claim for us the honors of confession. 

But, if challenge were necessary, we have it from 
God himself, who commands us to " be ready always 
to give an answer to every man that asketh a reason 
of the hope that is in us, with meekness and fear." 
If not the foes, the friends of Christ will Avant the 
reason of our hope ; and shall we not be as ready to 
meet the requirements of Christian love, as the mar- 
tyrs were to endure the demands of stern and wrath- 
ful persecution ? 

2. As to the matter of confession, the context seems 
to limit it to Christ's resurrection : " If thou con- 
fess — and believe in thine heart that Qod hath raised 


him from the dead.^' To understand this, Ave must 
regard the sini'it of it. Certain acts, in given cir- 
cumstances, prove sincere piety, "when, in different 
circumstances, they would prove nothing at all. Look 
at Daniel. Kneeling for prayer by his window, dis- 
played, in the circumstances, heroic zeal for God ; but 
take away the king's decree and den of lions, and 
suppose his prayers offered up in the city of Jerusa- 
lem, where the most profane Jew observed the custom, 
and this act of Daniel loses all its force. Another 
example is the conduct of the three " Hebrew Wor- 
thies." Not to worship idols on Mount Zion was com- 
mon to all classes, whether pious or profane. But, in 
Babylon, where nations bowed down in submission to 
royal edicts enforced by the terrors of a burning fiery 
furnace, for three captive strangers to resist, and hurl 
defiance at the monarch in the name of Israel's God, 
was periling every earthly interest, and afforded the 
strongest proof of sanctity and zeal. 

In the light of these examples how evident it is, 
that confessing one offensive feature of Christianity 
may involve a full confession of the system. What 
that feature is must be determined by the state of 
public sentiment. In one age or region it may de- 
pend on " caste ; " in another, on the practice of 
polygamy ; and in a third, on false histories or " tra- 
ditions," which cherish national vanity or profane 
superstitions, and are in conflict with the doctrines 
or chronologies of Scripture. 

In Paul's day the resurrection was peculiarly offen- 
sive, and concentered on itself the sum total of the 
odium which fell upon Christianity. Christ was slain 
as a deceiver. Except by his disciples he was ab- 


horred above mankind. Ilis resurrection ■would not 
only draw after it his Godhead, but would infer upon 
his crucifiers unexampled guilt. It was therefore the 
question of the times — the point of desperate conflict 
between Christ's friends and foes. When persecution 
raged, it was directed to that point, and met by the 
specific testimony of the unresisting martyrs — a testi- 
mony cheerfully sealed in their own blood. Surely 
this was a plenary confession, involving faith in 
Christ's Godhead, atonement, and offices — in the in- 
ward work of the Spirit — in every doctrine of his 
word, and in his promises, even to that " exceeding 
precious" one, "i/e that loseth his life for omj sake 
shall find it." 

Thus the brief form of confession in the context 
was made all-comprehensive by those existing circum- 
stances which, whenever they return, will stamp that 
form with its original force and meaning. But to 
confess Christ's resurrection in the midst of present 
Christendom, would scarcely pledge a man to decent 
orthodoxy, and might leave him suspected of the 
grossest infidelity. Of course true confession must 
be made more explicit. When popular sentiment 
moves men not to deny but acknowledge Christ, as 
the true God and risen Savior, if the disciple would 
bear the cross of true confession, he must go some 
steps beyond that unoff'ensive summary, to those fea- 
tures Avhich now come under the ban of public prej- 
udice. Maintaining these with the firmness of a 
martyr, he will show that he is not ashamed of Christ 
or of his word; for Religion has still unwelcome fea- 
tures, and always will have to unsanctified minds. 
Moreover, she will be subject to that milder persecu- 


tion which, when it does not bind and burn, will turn 
its victim over to contempt and ridicule. 

An ingenious writer hints that religious persecution 
has passed through several stages, answering to the 
progress of divine revelation. Its first aim was God 
the Father, in that divine unity which stood opposed 
to idolatry and polytheism, and in defense of which 
so many prophets gave their lives. Next it assailed 
God the Son ; first in his own sacred person, and then 
in that great " cloud of witnesses " who " loved not 
their lives unto the death." Now it w^ars against 
God the Holy Ghost, by deriding his gracious work 
upon the souls of men. 

Is there no ground for these distinctions? What 
doctrinal test can now separate the true Christian 
from an orthodox, guilty world ? The unity of God 
was a badge to the Jew, but none to Christ's disciple, 
for all Jewry held it ; and to Christ's very crucifiers 
it might have been said, " Ye believe there is one 
God — the devils also believe." The resurrection was, 
in turn, a badge to the apostles, but it can be none to 
us ; for now to the worst blasphemer it may be said, 
" Thou believest Christ is risen — devils also believe." 
These ancient tests are obsolete in Christendom, un- 
less sometimes arrayed against a haggard infidelity 
which lingers here and there in low and vulgar haunts. 

What then is now required ? Confessions of Christ 
m the work of the Holy Spirit — that Comforter which 
he sent to " take of the things of Christ, and show 
them unto us" — confessions from living witnesses 
that the Spirit reproves, regenerates, and " sanctifies 
wholly," through faith in Jesus Christ. The Jews 
testified of God's works in their day j the apostles, of 


his miraculous deeds in the commencement of Chris- 
tianity ; and what belongs to us ? We can recount 
no plagues like those which smote Egypt, nor deliver- 
ing miracles like those of the exodus. Yet God has 
not withdrawn his presence from our world. He 
" works a work " in our day. " It shall come to pass 
in the last days, saith God, that I will pour out of 
my Spirit upon all flesh." This he now does, as we 
have seen and known, convincing and regenerating — 
"sprinkling clean water upon" us that we may "be 
clean." And of the plagues of sin within us, worse 
than the plagues of Egypt — of the rod, not of Aaron, 
but of Christ smiting our rocky hearts and causing 
the waters of repentance and then of joy to gush 
forth — we too are witnesses. 

Outward miracles in our day almost cease to be 
disputed. Other matters are now drawn into the 
issues which separate and antagonize the Church and 
the world. Christ's Messiahship is yielded ; but the 
Spirit's gracious work is denied and derided. Not 
the advent, but its aim, provokes man's enmity ; and 
this has become the issue which must next be settled, 
not merely with the world, but with formal Christi- 
anity. This in turn is the question — the point at 
which Persecution aims, with such annoying subtilties 
as her malice may employ when she dares not use 
force; and, as faithful Avitnesses, we must shape our 
testimony to her present modes of assault. Of what 
avail is testimony which does not touch existing 

3. The text prescribes the mode of confession ; and 
the mistakes committed on this point show how im- 


portant it is that the question should be settled by 
divine authority. 

(1.) Some say, " My position in the Church testi- 
fies." Not so. For to this day "they are not all 
Israel who are of Israel." The visible Church is not 
mainly composed of Christians. Itrmay be that nine- 
teen-twentieths of her members know nothino; of vital 
religion ; and even her Protestant branches are fields 
in which the tares and wheat " grow together until the 
harvest." Membership in such a Church will not be 
received as an explicit avowal of saving faith in Christ. 
A Church is condemned as heartless and Christless 
for general silence on the subject of experimental 
religion ; and if an unwitnessing Church fall under 
such reproach, an unwitnessing member of it can 
surely fare no better. And what if Church member- 
ship were a profession of Christian "hope?" are we 
not commanded to "give a reason of that hope?" 

(2.) Others say, "Let your life testify." Testify 
what? If well ordered, it may testify the purity of 
your morals, and the innocency of your social dispo- 
sitions. It may prove you honest, industrious, and 
neighborly ; but all these you may be without regen- 
eration or the love of God. How shall it be known 
why you are honest — whether grace or nature, the 
love of Christ or the love of praise, makes you so? 
Your life testify ! Absurd ! As well might the blame- 
less conduct of a witness at the bar be ofi'ered in reply 
to fifty cross questions. 

(3.) The mode is fixed by God's authority. " With 
the mouth confession is made unto salvation ;" that is, 
in words spoken or written — for in diff'ercnt circum- 
stances they are equal. This has been the usual mode 


from the beginning. When Noah built the ark, he 
mingled his testimony with his daily toil, warning a 
wicked generation of its impending doom. Those 
"holy men of old," the patriarchs and prophets, 
^^ spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost;" 
some of them enjoying his infallible guidance. The 
Psalmist wished to " declare " what God had done for 
his soul. He prays, " Lord, open thou my lips, and 
my mouth shall show forth thy praise." In harmony 
with the text, which connects faith and confession, he 
says, "I believed, and therefore have I spoken." The 
New Testament saints followed this example; for the 
apostle says, " We also believe, and therefore speakJ' 
Stephen testified with his expiring breath, and Paul 
records his experience in its remarkable details — vis- 
ions, power, and all — not leaving out his call to preach, 
nor even his visit to the third heavens. It seems he 
was wont to relate all in his sermons, and that before 
kings ; not standing on his own apostolic dignity, nor 
anxious about the violations of courtly etiquette. 

We ought to join the Church; else we reject God's 
sacraments, and choose the world before God's people. 
Like persons brought into court, we are summoned 
into the Church to be qualified as witnesses by sacra- 
mental oaths. In the Church we should behave with 
the utmost circumspection, so that, our veracity un- 
questioned, we may testify with the utmost effect. 
But all this does not fulfill the demand of the sum- 
mons. Having the position and the qualifications of 
a witness, we must next give our testimony, and not 
stand in the Church like "mutes" before the court. 

IV. It remains to notice the relations or depend- 
encies of confession. The text ascribes salvation to it. 

1475226 ^ 


But the Scriptures teach, as we have seen, that faith 
is the only real or efficacious condition of being saved, 
as Christ's merit through the Spirit is the only effica- 
cious cause. Let us consider then more carefully the 
shapings of the text. 

" With the heart man believeth unto righteousness, 
and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation," 
may seem to institute a sort of double proportion; 
namely, ^^ as faith is to 7'ighteousness, so is confession 
to salvation." But we must be guarded in our under- 
standing of "so is," not receiving it in its precise 
technical force, or we shall do violence to Scripture. 
Its force is to define the certainty of results, but not 
the principle which works those results. 

It may be difficult to illustrate this distinction, 
which, metaphysical as it may be in aspect, is vital 
both in theology and in experience, as every thing is 
which affects our views of faith. If a man should say 
to his neighbor, " The fountain by yonder hill supplies 
water to the vale, and these minute streams revive 
the withered herbage," two relations — connecting the 
fountain with the vale, and the streams with the herb- 
age — would be expressed; but two other relations — 
connecting the fountain with the streams, and the 
fountain with the herbage — would be implied: and 
these last, being familiar to our experience, would im- 
press us as forcibly as though they were expressed. 
So in the text, the relations of faith to righteousness, 
and of confession to salvation, are expressed ; but the 
relation of faith to confession and to salvation is not 
expressed. Faith, as a condition, bears the same rela- 
tion to these which the fountain bears to the streams 
and the refreshed herbage : it gathers into the soul. 


from Christ the hidden source, the life- waters of sal- 
vation; but confession, as an outward act of faith, 
renders these life-waters refreshing and beneficent. 

In the light of this illustration we may perceive in 
how difi"erent a sense confession and faith are condi- 
tions of salvation. Faith is the real or efficacious 
condition ; yet, as confession must interpose, like the 
streams, to attain the end of faith, it is ordinarily as 
indispensable as faith itself. Even the thief upon the 
cross not only believed but confessed, suddenly as he 
was hurried into the presence of his Judge. 

But what service does confession render which 
makes it indispensable? It cherishes and exemplifies 
our Christian graces. First, it cherishes them, as 
light and air do the plants which must perish without 
their influence. For example : 

1. Confession promotes humility. Tracing our par- 
don and purification to Christ is conceding our own 
guilt, pollution, and helplessness. To claim Christ as 
a Savior, is to proclaim self a sinner. This is a cross 
against which pride rallies, and which, borne, lays 
pride in the dust. Confession glories in the cross, 
which is glorying in self-abasement, yea, in self-cruci- 
fixion, as Paul did when the Pharisee was dead in ' 
him : " God forbid that I should glory save in the 
cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom I am cruci- 
fied to the world." What he once thought of that in 
which his humility now gloried, is familiar to us all. 
When Peter stood in the judgment-hall and warmed 
himself, confession would not only have humbled, but 
would have saved him. 

2. Confession aids self-eonsecration, by dissolving 
our connection with the world, and breaking up our 


union with the creatures. It says, not of the friends, 
but of the enemies of religion, "Let us break their 
bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us." 
It yields a public pledge to Christ and his Church, 
and fortifies religious purpose by compelling its worst 
foes, such as earthly policy and the sense of shame, 
to become its aids and allies. If the Christian would 
multiply the cords which bind his sacrifice to the altar, 
let him often proclaim his purpose to keep it there. 
God will employ our confessions to lead us out of the 
world into his closer fellowship. What we feebly 
bind on earth he will be pleased to bind in heaven, 
writing on our hearts, "Zw^'S receive you.'"' 

3. Confession strengthens faith itself. Like filial 
piety, it nourishes its parent. It is to faith like those 
braces which the juices of the stalk throw out for 
self-support. Its influence may partly depend on the 
laws of mind ; for such is our mental constitution that 
avowal fortifies and almost creates conviction. In 
this way skepticism has been wrought into atheism ; 
for men have become confirmed in infidelity by lightly 
vindicating it in conversation. And if against evi- 
dence a man can talk himself into the belief of fatal 
?rror, how much more may he deepen the impressions 
of truth, when he has reason and conscience on his 
side to enforce his own avowals ? Doubtless, on natu- 
ral principles, confession strengthens faith. 

And so it does evangelically or by the Holy Spirit, 
under whose gracious culture the renovated heart is 
like a vine which becomes more fruitful for its pluck- 
ings. God will work faith in them who use it for his 
glory, by standing up in its strength as his unflinch- 
ing witnesses: "Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me; 


and to liim that orderetli liis conversation aright -VYill 
I show the salvation of God." 

Second, confession is the representative of faith. 
It is true that good works execute the same office : 
" Show me thy faith without thy works, and I will 
show thee my faith by my works." Thus the apostle. 
But important as works are to confirm our testimony, 
they fail in some respects to represent our Christian 
graces. They are sometimes unseasonable. Confes- 
sion is quick, works are slow. That requires a mo- 
ment ; these consume months or years. The thief | 
upon the cross had time merely to confess, whicli, in 
his circumstances, was "the cup of cold water;" for 
though his faith could only cast one look at Christ, its 
confiding exclamation so kindled the Savior's pity 
that it blazed into trains of light and guided him to 

Works can only give a bird's-eye view of faith. 
They can not report the minute changes of experi- 
ence — the trials and assaults, the conflicts, wounds, 
and triumphs, of the Christian warfare. But confes- 
sion can map out every turn in the pilgrim's course to 
Canaan ; and, for warning and encouragement to 
those Avho follow after, can describe each help and 
hindcrance he meets with in the way. If works lay 
down the heads of our experience, confession fills up 
the skeleton. 

And we must not forget that confession is itself 
one of the most important Avorks of faith. It is the 
genesis of them all, and its omission betrays a want 
of earnestness in religion, a state of heart unfruitful 
of all good works. He whose zeal does not confess, 
will limp and lag in other duties. The power which 


can not turn her wheels will never move the steamer. 
As a general rule, the grace which has force enough 
to act, will move its subject to proclaim God's saving 
mercies. " I have believed, and therefore have 1 
spoken," was the experience of early times. And so 
tinder the Gospel : " We also believe, and therefore 
epeak." Here the word "therefore" involves a vital 
principle; namelj, faith speaks. Its very instinct is 
to vent itself in words. Its birth is usually not in 
silence, but with the voice of groans ; and when the 
work is finished, and Sabbath calms and raptures now 
first betide the soul, no wonder if over the new crea- 
tion there is a " shouting aloud for joy." May not 
the dying penitent, new-born of the Spirit, be roused 
by that Avhich moves the sons of God in paradise ? 
" There is joy in heaven over one sinner that re^ 

There is a still-born faith, which should be always 
silent, for it would be misrepresented by a show of 
roused affections. What has no inward ardors de- 
mands no outward signs. There is a way of thinJcing 
which men call faith. As it touches not the heart, 
both heart and lip are still. It m.oves, like Surgery 
through a hospital, around the Savior's cross, but 
with a colder speculation regards the suffering Victim. 

The faith which speaks is different. To its renewed 
affections the cross is a home-tragedy, where science 
is a mockery, but the yielding heart dissolves amid 
the groans and death-throes of the atoning Son of 
God. He who has this faith, believing " with the 
heart," may sometimes find himself in untoward 
moods for silence. His musings may kindle fires not 
easily controlled, which, bursting the barriers of his 


own false discretion, will remind him of that saying, 
" If these should hold their peace, the very stones 
would cry out." The glorious things revealed, the 
ardors of his divinely-wrought conviction, and the 
new creations " unto righteousness," which take his 
being captive, may render silence inconvenient. Thus 
it seemed to be with David, in the sixty-sixth Psalm. 
While his song premeditated joyful offerings in the 
tabernacle, he felt such sudden overflows of rapture 
as could not brook the delays and moderations of his 
plan ; and he seemed disposed to hurry up a love- 
feast in the palace : " Come and hear, all ye that fear 
God, and I will declare what he hath done for my 

How vital, then, is the connection between confes- 
sion and salvation ! Without faith we can not be 
saved. And confession, as we have seen, must cher- 
ish and prove our faith. And, above all, if our faith 
be of the heart as well as of the intellect, it will 
speak, even as the breath comes and goes by the ur- 
gencies of nature. Then let us beware of silence. 
If it has already grieved the Holy Spirit, till con- 
fession is no longer easy and spontaneous as it wa,s at 
our conversion, let us proceed to enact, as a duty, 
that which should have been a privilege, and thus re- 
cover what is lost. If it is still a privilege, let us not 
" sell our birthright." Let us be faithful witnesses, 
and keep back nothing. The text is broad, and 
covers all experience — not select portions of it which 
involve no cross, because they invite no reproach. 
Our confession must be of God's grace, whatever it 
hath wrought in its regenerating, comforting, and 
sanctifying forms; or, unlike the Psalmist, we hide 


God's "righteousness within our hearts," and "with- 
hold his loving-kindness and his truth from the great 
congregation." We do not " talk of all his wondrous 

It is true that circumstances should be regarded 
in performing this great duty. To confess perfect 
love in a large and mixed assembly would be unsea- 
sonable ; but to do it in a love-feast would be highly 
proper; for there, unless the Discipline has been 
grossly violated, it will not be " casting pearls before 
swine." Rising in such a place to relate God's deal- 
ings with us, we should feel that we are as witnesses 
sworn " to tell the truth, the ivJiole truth, and nothing 
but the truth;" or to "declare ivliat he hath done for 
our souls." This will edify both ourselves and those 
who hear. The Psalmist not only looked for self-re- 
lief, but expected to minister comfort to others. " My 
soul shall make her boast in the Lord; the humble 
shall hear thereof and he glad.''' "From you," says 
the apostle, "sounded out the word of the Lord; 
and in every place your faith to God-ward is spread 
abroad, so that we need 7iot to speak any thing.'' 
This at least borders on declaring that even the ne- 
cessity of apostolic ministrations was waived by the 
confessions of the Thessalonian converts. Nor is it 
strange ; for what argument can have the force of 
simple testimony? 

We may say, then, confession "is twice blessed;" 
is blessed in him that speaks and him that hears. It 
is a "stream that maketh glad" on every side. Not 
only does its outflow refresh the house of God, but 
with a reflex force it returns on the confessor, and 
sets all inward grace in motion, which occasion the 


Holy Spirit seizes to enlarge and fill the channels of 
his inward life, and sweetly multiply the volume of 
his graces. May God so enrich us with his abound- 
ing grace that, as Paul prayed for Philemon, ^Hlie 
communication of our faith may become effectual by 
the acknowledging of every good thing ivhich is in us 
in Christ Jesus!" 


A D A M M 1 L L E li . 43 



In giving an account of the experience of some 
of our German missionaries, it will perhaps be ex- 
pected that I should say a few things in reference to 
myself, and more especially as I was identified with 
the German missionary work for a number of years. 
I witnessed its commencement and gradual growth 
and development from the first efforts of one solitary 
missionary till the present time, when the work has 
extended all over the United States, and is even now 
spreading over the father-land. In connection with f^ 
my experience, and the experience of our German 
preachers, I shall make such notes and explanatory 
remarks as will give the reader an outline of the rise 
and progress of the work among the Germans. 

I was born in the state of Maryland, in the year 
1810, and when I was four months old my father 
moved to the then western wilds of Ohio, Avith a col- 
ony of the stricter sect of the Mennonites, called the 
Ornish. As these singular people, in every place 
where they make settlements, seek to be secluded from 
intercourse with the society of other people, their aim 
was to purchase as much of the land as possible in one 
vicinity, and thus keep together in a kind of com- 
munity ; consequently, the new colony soon increased 
by emigration from Pennsylvania and Maryland, and 


almost the entire neighborhood was made up of these 
Ornish, or Monnonites, as they are sometimes called. 
My parents were members of the society, and strict 
observers of their many singular rules and customs. 
My grandfather and two of my uncles were preachers 
in their Church, and I was early taken to their meet- 
ings, and from a child brought up to a strict observ- 
ance of the rules of the society, which consisted in 
some peculiar modes of dress and a strict morality, 
so far as the outward conduct is concerned. Our 
people were not allowed to go to any religious meet- 
ings except our own, and no other preachers were 
allowed to preach among us. We lived on the out- 
skirts of the settlement, and my father on several 
occasions went to hear ministers of other denomina- 
tions preach, for which he was severely censured. He 
owned a mill, and by mingling with the English 
neighbors on one side of our place he had become 
familiar with the English language; but our language 
in the family, however, was the Pennsylvania Ger- 
man. On one occasion, Avhen I was some fifteen 
years old, he went to a Methodist quarterly meeting, 
and came home in the evening very serious, and told 
us he had heard a sermon on the judgment-day by 
an Irish preacher by the name of Charles Elliott.* 
He read to us the text and repeated a number of 
remarks which he had recollected from the sermon. 
My mind was early and deeply impressed with the 
importance of a preparation for a future state. I 
often Avandered in solitary places anxiously wishing 

••■Our venerable friend, Dr. Elliott, was then presiding elder in the 
bounds of the Pittsburg district. 


to know what to do to be saved; for our preachers 
talked about a future state, but left us in the dark on 
the subject of vital godliness. The doctrines of 
awakening, repentance, conversion, and the witness 
of the Spirit were not taught to us. A strict moral- 
ity and a punctilious adherence to rules of the 
Church, modes of dress, etc., were considered a suffi- 
cient passport to heaven. 

When I was between sixteen and seventeen years 
of age my father again went on a Sabbath day to a 
Methodist meeting. The preacher on the occasion 
was Rev. Joseph M'Dowell, then a local preacher, 
now presiding elder of Mount Pleasant district, Iowa 
conference. On his way from meeting he traveled 
several miles with the preacher, and in conversation 
with him found that he was teaching school in a 
neighboring village. On his return home he told 
me — as I was then lame from a dislocated ankle-joint 
and not able to work on the farm — that he would 
send me to the Methodist preacher to school to learn 
the English language thoroughly. I was much de- 
lighted with the proposition, and awaited with great 
anxiety the day for my departure from home to go 
to school. When I made my appearance at the 
school-house, with my singular Mennonite costume, I 
attracted the especial attention of the teacher and the 
scholars. Established in the religious principles of 
our order, I was not afraid of being misled, and 
had not the most distant idea of becoming a Method- 
ist. I soon became much attached to my teacher; 
and, as I made rapid progress in my English educa- 
tion, out of courtesy I went to hear him preach. I 
became very singularly affected under the preaching, 


and often wept profusely when I did not understand 
more than half of what was said. 

My teacher now began to instruct me in private ; 
and, during noon spells and recess, explained to my 
dark mind the nature of true religion. I soon con- 
cluded that if he was right we had all been wrong, 
and if there was a religion which afibrded peace to 
a troubled mind I would have it. Soon after my 
awakening to a sense of my lost condition, my teacher 
told me that there was a quarterly meeting not far 
off, and invited me to go with him, which I cheerfully 
did. "Now," said he, "when we get to the meeting 
on Saturday night, they will have a bench out in front 
of the pulpit, to which they will invite all seekers of 
religion," and advised me to go forward. I at once 
agreed; and, as soon as the Saturday night sermon 
was over, the bench was put out in front of the pul- 
pit, and no sooner had the invitation been given than 
I started and kneeled down, all alone at first — my 
heart all broken up, willing to do any thing to obtain 
tliis religion that my kind teacher had talked so much 
to me about — but now my troubles thickened around 
me. I had never been at such a meeting ; in the mo- 
ment of excitement I had forgotten many things that 
had been told me, and what to say I did not knoAv; 
but, in an instant, it occurred to me I would listen 
with attention, and what I heard others say that I 
would say ; and, of course, would be right. Just as 
I had formed this purpose, a pious sister commenced 
clapping her hands, and shouting "glory to God," at 
the top of her voice, and with that I commenced, in 
broken accents of half German and half English, to 
cry glory to God; and, to follow up the whole, com- 



menced clapping my hands. My teacher soon came 
to me, and asked me whether I had found peace. To 
which I replied, "No; I feel very bad; I am a lost 
sinner," and continued to repeat the words I had 
caught from the pious sister. 

He said to me, " You must not say glory, but say 
'Lord, have mercy on me a sinner !' " I soon did ac- 
cording to his instruction; but, at the same time, 
commenced to claim religion on the ground of my 
past moral life. Instead of trusting in the Savior, I 
trusted in my own good works. My grief and distress 
of mind became almost indescribable. I have often 
since thought I might have exclaimed with propriety : 

"A darker soul did never yet 
Thy promised help implore." 

I have mentioned my embarrassment, and my mis- 
take in my first efforts to pray in an hour of great 
excitement and mental agitation, to show that great 
allowance should be made, and a great deal of patience 
and forbearance should be exercised toward those who 
had never received proper religious instruction in 
earlier days. What may appear perfectly plain to a 
person who has frequently visited such meetings, will 
not appear so to one who is just emerging from dark- 
ness and superstition, deeply sensible of his lost con- 
dition, anxiously inquiring the way to life. Such was 
my case ; I knew that I was in the wrong way, and 
anxiously sought the right way. I looked on the right 
hand and on the left for help, and was willing to do 
all in my power to be delivered from my sins. 

After the quarterly meeting I returned to the 
school, but could not study, my distress of mind being 


SO great. My father heard of it, but such were the 
impressions that had been made upon his mind, by the 
few Methodist sermons which he had heard, that he 
would not oppose me. My relations generally be- 
came bitterly opposed to me. I went to brother 
M'Dowell and asked whether the Methodists would 
receive me into their Church. He told me they would 
take me on trial, for which I was very thankful ; and, 
at the first offer, I gave my hand and my name to the 

I had now torn myself loose from the community 
in which I had been brought up. The family where I 
boarded were irreligious and opposed me. My teacher 
took me into his own house, instructed and directed 
me in the way to life; and, after three months of 
struggling against unbelief and the powers of dark- 
ness, the Lord granted me peace and pardon, the wit- 
ness of the Spirit, and the joys of his salvation. 

I soon commenced to talk to others about religion. 
My progress in learning English was very rapid. The 
preachers and others of our Church wished my father 
to interpose his parental authority to bring me back. 
This he refused to do, from fear that he might do 
wrong; but, at the same time, concluded not to help 
nor encourage me. My grandfather soon after my con- 
version was taken sick; and, on his death-bed, called 
me to talk to me and entreat me to return to the 
community I had left. The Lord gave me great lib- 
erty and power to talk to him, and to explain to him 
the nature of repentance and conversion. He wept 
profusely, and seemed anxious to hear me talk about 
this new way. He said to me he had never fully given 
me up for lost, to which I replied, "No, I am not 


lost, but saved through God's mercy." I finally asked 
the privilege of praying with him, to which he readily 
consented. The power of the Lord came down, and 
I believe the venerable old man, of eighty years, 
looked to Jesus and found peace in believing. Many 
of the members of his own Church stood around and 
looked with astonishment on the scene. I was 
strengthened in the faith. The old man was com- 
forted, and when I left the room his aged wife fol- 
lowed me into the yard, and wished me to make to 
her some further explanation about this religion, which 
I cheerfully did. She was much aifected, and I went 
on my way rejoicing. I could now bear the persecu- 
tions to which I Avas subject, with a glad heart. The 
Methodist Church was my home ; the members of the 
Church all treated me kindly; Christ was my Savior, 
and heaven my aim : 

"Jesus, all the day long, 
Was my joy and my song." 

In some six months after my conversion the so- 
ciety voted me license to exhort. This I soon com- 
menced to do in broken and poor English, but my 
lameness, which still continued, prevented my going 
far from home. I had a constant and almost inexpres- 
sible desire to do something for the cause of Christ; 
but my limited education, and other apparently insur- 
mountable difficulties, did not allow me to entertain 
the thought of becoming a minister of the Gospel. 
Yet I formed this purpose — to use all the means within 
my reach for the improvement of my mind : my want 
of earlier opportunities was my misfortune ; my neg- 
lect to improve the future would be my fault. 


In the following summer there was a camp meeting 
held near Canton, Ohio, twenty-five miles from my 
father's residence, to which I had a great desire to 
go, but knew of no mode of conveyance, and such 
was my lameness that I could scarcely walk two or 
three miles without great difficulty. My father con- 
sented that I should go, but would not allow me a 
horse to ride. I however resolved to go. My sister 
baked me a few biscuits, and with six cents in my 
pocket I started on a journey of twenty-five miles, 
though scarcely able to walk three ; yet I had strong 
confidence that some way would be provided for me 
to get there. When half a mile from home I was 
overtaken by a man in an empty Avagon, driving along 
at a rapid rate. When he came up with me he 
suddenly halted and asked where I was going; I told 
him I had started for camp meeting, near Canton. 
" Get into my Avagon," said he ; " I am going right by 
there on my way to Cleveland, and you are welcome 
to ride in my wagon ; I am not a Methodist," he 
continued, "but nearly all my relations are, and I am 
a friend to the Methodists." I gladly accepted the 
offer, and was taken to camp meeting as comfortably 
as if I had been able to hire my OAvn conveyance. 
On the way an incident occurred that aflfected me 
very much. Stopping at a house to get a drink of 
water, the lady of the house asked me from what 
place I had come. I replied, "From Shanesville." 
" Do tell me," said she, " have you heard of the young 
Mcnnonite or Omish boy who Avas converted at Shanes- 
ville some time ago ? Hoav is he getting along V I 
at once kncAV she Avas inquiring after my OAvn history 
Avithout knowing to Avliom she was talking. I merely 



gave her to understand that the young man was doing 
well, and left the house rejoicing in the great things 
which the Lord had done for me. At camp meeting 
the brethrexi received me very kindly, and I was 
without want during the meeting. I had now in a 
good degree changed my manner of dress, and no 
longer attracted so much attention as when I first 
went to Methodist meetings. This camp meeting was 
a glorious one, and a great blessing to my soul. At 
the close of the meeting I had made no arrangement 
to get home, and was not able to walk the distance, 
and knew of no wagon from our neighborhood. 
Standing alone in the street in Canton, a distance of 
twenty-five miles before me, and six and a fourth 
cents in my pocket as my only dependence, save the 
good providence of God, I still hoped that some way 
would be provided for my safe return. While med- 
itating what to do, a stranger drove up behind me 
and asked me where I was going. "To or near 
Shanesville," was my reply. "Well," said he, "I am 
going there with an empty carriage and two fleet 
horses, and if you will give me six cents to buy 
grease for my wheels I will take you there to-night." 
The money was handed out — it was all I had, it was 
all he wanted — and before night I was landed safe at 
home. I thanked the Lord, for I believed his good 
providence had directed the stranger to me. 

By the consent of my father I commenced praying 
in the family when I was at home ; but much of my 
time for the first two years after my conversion 
was spent with my friend and benefactor, brother 
M'Dowell. During the summers I went to school, 
and during the winters I taught school. 1 had waked 


up to a new world of thought, as well as of feeling. 
English grammar, natural philosophy, chemistry, phys- 
iology, anatomy, and medicine, each, came in turn, 
and I employed my leisure time in studying these and 
other branches of science with great diligence. Much 
as I was delighted with the progress I made in my 
studies, my greatest care was to get some of my 
relations to go with me in the way to life eternal. 
With kind words I induced one of my sisters to go 
with me to a quarterly meeting. When we arrived at 
the meeting-house I told a good lady to invite her to 
take a seat near to the pulpit, I really believed that 
there was something peculiarly solemn in the place, 
and that she would be more likely to receive good 
impressions among the pious than in the wicked 
crowd in the back part of the house. My wish was 
gratified. My sister Avas seated near the pulpit, sur- 
rounded by pious praying friends. Rev. William 
Swayze, of precious memory, was our presiding elder. 
When he commenced to preach, I commenced to pray 
for my sister. I looked at the preacher and then at 
her, and toward the close of the sermon I saw the 
large tears gathering in her eyes, and soon coursing 
down her cheeks. My fjiith increased as I prayed. 
" Lord, give me one of my father's household to 
go with me. Shall I be the only one of the family 
that shall be delivered from the delusion in which we 
have lived?" was the earnest language of my heart. 
At the close of the sermon the preacher said, " All 
you who wish an interest in the prayers of the Church 
rise up." My sister was soon on her feet. That 
night she came to the altar for prayers, and before 
the meeting closed she was happily converted to God. 


We tten joined together to pray for the rest of the 
family, but for some time our prospects were dark and 

There was a camp meeting some seven miles off, and 
our plan was to get our brother next younger than my- 
self to go with us ; he promised to go, but on the day 
when we started he refused. "We however went, pray- 
ing for him ; and after we had been on the ground a 
few days he came. We talked to him, but he would not 
hear us, and remained on the outskirts among the care- 
less crowd till Saturday night, when, walking from the 
spring to the encampment, he suddenly fell to the 
ground, and commenced crying at the top of his 
voice, " Send for my brother and sister !" We were 
soon on the spot, and he cried out when he saw us, 
"Will you forgive me for treating you so badly?" 
"Yes," said I, "it is all forgiven." "Well, will God 
forgive me ?" continued he. My sister and I both as- 
sured him that God would forgive him. We led him 
to the altar of prayer, and, after a hard struggle and 
continued prayer, about midnight he was powerfully 
converted. There were now three of us, and we all 
joined in prayer for the family. Our father with his 
silver locks bowed at the altar of prayer and said to 
us, " Children, come and pray for me too," In a 
few years all were happily converted and members of 
the Church. That brother and that sister have long 
since gone to their rest in heaven, and both in their 
dying hours gave clear evidence of the power of di- 
vine grace to save. They died triumphantly happy. 

I have mentioned these things to encourage those 
who now have unconverted relatives to pray for them. 
But I must pause and ask, where is that simple, con- 


fiding faith vnih. which we went to a throne of grace 
in those days, and looking up to God through Jesus 
Christ, beheving that we should have the things 
we asked for? If we have substituted speculative 
theories on the subject of faith for this strong confi- 
dence in the divine promises we have made a sad ex- 
change. May the God of our fathers bring us back 
to these old landmarks ! I may add here, that after 
the conversion of our family gradual inroads were 
made upon our community. Others followed our ex- 
ample and left them, and sought a home in the Meth- 
odist or some other evangelical Church. My father 
was unfortunate in business, and was obliged to sell 
his property to satisfy his creditors, and retired to a 
rented farm. 

In the year 1830 I finally left my father's house, 
with nothing excepting my clothing — a small bundle 
of which I carried in my hands. My friend, brother 
M'Dowell, had in the mean time removed sixty miles 
further west, and settled in Knox county, Ohio, 
where he labored with great success as a local 
preacher. It was my aim to live in his neighbor- 
hood, learn some trade, and devote as much of my 
time to study as I could. 

Soon after my arrival in Knox county the brethren 
brought my case before the society for license to 
preach. When the matter was mentioned to the 
preacher in charge, Rev. James M'Mahan, he met 
me in front of the church, looked at me Avith his 
keen, penetrating eye; and, I have no doubt, if he 
had expressed his honest sentiments he would have 
said, "An unpromising youth." He told me I had 
better put off my application to some future time ; to 


vrhlch I replied that I had not made it; and, as my 
friends had made it "without my consent, I would not 
take the responsibility to withdraw it. He went into 
the church and made a set speech against me, and 
took the vote ; but my case was passed by a large 
majority. He made another speech, and took the 
vote the second time, and the matter carried by the 
same majority — of this I was informed afterward. 
I certainly never blamed my esteemed friend M'Ma- 
han. He had before him a poorly-clad, unpromising- 
looking subject, and he did what he believed to be 
right. In two weeks from this time I had to appear 
before the quarterly conference. Brother M'Mahan 
soon introduced me to Rev. L. Swormstedt, who was 
then our presiding elder, with this remark, "He 
wants to get license to preach, and perhaps he may 
want to get into the traveling connection some day." 
I was aware of a strong current of prejudice against 
me. A stranger among the brethren at that place, 
nothing was known of my previous history; and, 
while many doubts and fears were expressed, 
brother Swormstedt, with his peculiar frankness and 
a disposition to give every one a fair trial, said, 
"We will put him up to preach." When I was told 
that I had to preach what would be considered a 
trial sermon, I immediately retired to the grove and 
laid the matter before the Lord in prayer. I felt 
confident that if it was the Lord's will that I should 
preach he would aid me by his grace. When I went 
to the church brother Swormstedt took his seat in the 
pulpit and brother M'Mahan in front of the altar. 
The Lord helped me, and brother M'Mahan wept, 
while brother Swormstedt gave a few hearty amens — 


just such as lie could give in those days. Many 
through the congregation wept. A number ap- 
proached the altar for the prayers of the Church, and 
we had a season of refreshing from the presence of 
the Lord. From that day to this brother M'Mahan 
has been one of my best friends. I had indeed per- 
haps too little care about my personal appearance. 
What I had earned the two previous winters by teach- 
ing school I gave to my father, because he needed it, 
and reserved nothing for myself, but very ordinary 

In three months after I was licensed to preach I 
was recommended to the annual conference, to be 
received into the traveling connection. I told the 
brethren that I could not go ; I had neither horse, 
saddle, nor clothing to start out .with ; but still I was 
willing to follow the openings of Providence, and go 
if the way was opened before me. I was fully satis- 
fied that, if it was the Lord's will that I should go, a 
way would be opened for me, and that embarrass- 
ments in my way would be removed. 

Brother M'Dowell told me to purchase a horse, and 
he would indorse for me. Brother R. sold me an old 
saddle for four dollars, on twelve months' credit; 
brother H. a pair of saddle-bags, on the same terms. 
A neighbor woman took her husband's old plaid 
cloak, ripped it up, and turned it inside out, and fixed 
it up for me ; another good sister gave me a fcAV pairs 
of socks. I had an old white hat, which, from long 
use and exposure to rains, was nearly worn out. 
Brother T. D. made me a pair of shoes, while I cut 
off the skirts of an old frock coat to make me a pair 
of wrappers or leggins. Friends were multiplied 


around me, and I was supplied with every real 

By some good fortune I had fifty cents in money 
in my pocket, and thus duly equipped I started for 
conference at Mansfield, a distance of twenty-five 
miles from my residence. Fortunately for me, in 
those days, they did not allow candidates admission 
into the conference, as they transacted their business 
with closed doors ; for had I been admitted among 
the brethren, I would have run a narrow chance of 
being rejected on the ground of my poor outfit. 

At the close of the conference my name was read 
out for Nicholas circuit, Virginia, a distance of nearly 
four hundred miles. The fifty cents I had I paid to 
a man for pasturing my horse during conference. 
And now came another trial. How to reach my field 
of labor, four hundred miles off", without money to 
defray my expenses, I did not know. My colleague, 
also a young man, lived twenty miles from my place 
of residence. I called on him, and found he had 
barely money enough to take us both to our appoint- 
ment. OS" we started, and, after a tedious journey 
on horseback, we reached our field of labor, and the 
day we arrived the last cent of money was spent. At 
the first quarterly meeting we each received two dol- 
lars quarterage. We had a prosperous year, with 
thirty-one appointments to fill every four weeks, and 
a distance of three hundred and fifty miles to travel. 
The appointments were from fourteen to twenty -five 
miles apart. My health, which had been poor for a 
few years past, was very much improved on bear 
meat, venison, corn bread, and an occasional mess of 
pork and beans. Never was there a better hospital 


for an invalid young preacher than one of those 
mountain circuits ; and there are many of our young 
men now, with broken-down constitutions, just from 
our literary institutions, who would be gainers through 
life if they could spend a year or two in those mount- 
ainous regions, breathe a pure mountain air, and live 
on the homely fare of the mountaineer. 

At the close of this year the brethren came up 
nobly, and paid each of us fifty-one dollars as our 
salary for the year. With close economy I saved 
thirty dollars to pay on my horse, and some other 
small debts. 

I remained four years in this rough Kanawha dis- 
trict, and by this time had well-nigh forgotten my 
German language. My debts were all paid, and I 
was free to go wherever the providence of God would 
open the way. 




While on Guyandotte circuit, in Virginia, I saw a 
call, published in the Western Christian Advocate, 
from Bishop Emorj, for a missionary, who could 
speak the German and French languages, to go to the 
south. I immediately remarked to a brother that I 
■would again study the German language, and preach 
to the Germans, who were then emigrating, by many 
thousands annually, into this country. With this 
resolution to study the German language, I com- 
menced, but knew of no one who could aid me or 
instruct me in the pure European German. About 
this time I visited my father in northern Ohio ; pro- 
cured a German New Testament, and some other Ger- 
man books, with a view of carrying out my purpose. 

During this trip, while passing through Zanesville, 
Ohio, I heard of a young German man, by the name 
of William Nast, who was represented to be a fine 
scholar, and under a deep awakening anxiously seek- 
ing for salvation. It occurred to me at once that if I 
could find this man he might give me lessons in Ger- 
man, and I might be of advantage to him by impart- 
ing spiritual instruction and encouragement. I in- 
quired for him at Zanesville, and found he had started 
down the Muskingum river on a flat-boat. I followed 


him down to the Ohio river, and learned that he 
landed at Gallipolis, and, upon inquiry, found that 
he had gone five miles into the country with a brother 
Cubbage. On arriving at Cubbage's I learned that 
he was at a brother Newton's. Here I found him, in 
a small room, giving instruction to a few young chil- 
dren. I introduced myself as a Methodist preacher, 
and told him that I had come to take him with me to 
my circuit in Western Virginia, to which he replied, 
" I can not go with you ; I can no more be a member 
of civil society. I have sinned away my day of grace, 
and to go with you would only increase my condem- 
nation." I, however, urged him to go with me, tell- 
ing him there was yet hope for him. He continued 
to beg off in the most piteous strains. I finally told 
him I wanted to learn German, and wished him to 
give me instruction. 

This plea seemed to induce his consent to go ; 
after several fruitless efforts I succeeded in borrowing 
a horse for him in the neighborhood. After the horse 
was procured and shod, he was strongly inclined to 
stay, with a plea that he had never been accustomed 
to riding on horseback; and, further, he pleaded that 
it would only increase his condemnation to go among 
Christian people. I urged him to go and hope for 
mercy from the Lord. 

On a cold day, in the month of Februai-y, 1834, we 
started ; and on the evening of the first day's journey 
we stopped at brother Campbell's, a local preacher, 
who received us with much cordiality and kindness, 
and immediately gave out an appointment for preach- 
ing at his house the same evening. Brother Nast had 
told me during the day that he thought he had been 


called to preach, and for having resisted the call, and 
thus grieving the Holy Spirit, he had brought this 
great condemnation upon himself. As he then under- 
stood the English language well, although he could 
not speak it fluently, I proposed to him that he should 
exhort after my sermon, which he consented to do. 
At the close of the sermon I prepared the way for him, 
by informing the congregation who he was, and where 
I had found him; and, continued, wishing them to 
pray that the Lord might deliver him from all his 

He arose and commenced in the following strain : 
" I have lost my soul — I have sinned away my day of 
grace ; there is no mercy for me, and I only arise to 
warn you not to put off your return to God. Take 
warning from me and do not quench the Holy Spirit." 
In this strain he went on for some time. The people 
listened with great attention, and I have no doubt, 
while he was telling his sad tale, many an ardent 
though silent prayer was offered to God that he might 
yet deliver the young man from all his fears, and make 
him an instrument of great good to his countrymen. 
It was a general sentiment at that time, and often ex- 
pressed, that the Lord would convert the young Ger- 
man and some day make a great and useful missionary 
of him. 

After the congregation was dismissed we retired to 
the room assigned us for the night. I was soon 
soundly asleep, but about midnight was awakened by 
a noise on the floor ; brother Nast had risen from his 
bed, and lay on the floor in the cold winter night, 
struggling, groaning, and praying for mercy. He 
must have spent several hours on the floor during the 


night ; and, in the morning, I said to him : " Did you 
not tell us last night that you had no hope of heaven — 
that you had lost all hope of ever obtaining mercy?" 
"Yes," said he, "I did, and I say so still." "No," 
replied I, " you have not given up all hope. You still 
believe, if you were to express the honest sentiments 
of your heart, that there is mercy for you ; and, to 
prove this to you, I will appeal to your own conduct. 
If you had no hope for mercy why did you get up last 
night, cold as it was, and lie for hours on the floor, if 
you did not have some hope that the Lord would yet 
hear and answer your prayer?" To this he answered: 
"Well, a man must be very far gone if he get so far 
that he Avill not pray any more." After breakfast 
we started on our journey, and in a few days arrived 
at Guyandotte, in Virginia. 

Here I introduced him to the "first families" of 
pious Methodists, all of Avhom took a deep interest in 
his welfare, and many an ardent prayer was offered 
for his conversion. During his stay with me he 
translated our Articles of Religion and the General 
Rules of our Discipline, and wrote in English char- 
acters so that I could read it. When he came to the 
translation of the sacramental services he hesitated 
very much, saying that he was too great a sinner and 
too unworthy to translate and write those solemn 
words. At my earnest request, however, he pro- 
ceeded and finished the translation. 

After spending some time with me I left him in the 
care of a pious family, by the name of Maupin, while 
I went to a quarterly meeting. During my absence 
he returned to Ohio, and afterward gave me the fol- 
lowing account of his trip home : " I started on my 


way back to Ohio, and soon came to a stream where 
the water was very high, after a shower of rain. It 
was at flood hight, and looked fearful. I thought this 
would be a good opportunity to make an end of my 
troubles, and that I would ride into the stream, in hope 
that I might accidentally be drowned. But a second 
thought occurred to me ; the horse might be drowned 
too ; and as you had become responsible for his safe 
return, and that you might not have him to pay for, 
I did not ventm-e in, but waited till the waters had 
fallen ; then went over, returned to Ohio, and delivered 
the horse at the place Avhere we got him." 

I now fully resolved to devote myself to the study 
of the pure European German language, and wrote a 
letter to Rev. T. A. Morris, then editor of the West- 
ern Christian Advocate, on this subject. The letter 
was published in the Advocate, accompanied with 
nearly a column of editorial remarks, highly recom- 
mending the course which I proposed to pursue, and 
stating the great importance of doing something to 
meet the Avants of our large and rapidly-increasing 
German population. 

These remarks from the editor tended very much 
to strengthen me in my purpose to persevere in my 
efforts to make myself acquainted with the German 
language. I commenced to read and privately to pray 
and think in German, but I had more of a task before 
me than I at first was aware of; for at that time I had 
no idea of its numerous declensions and inflections, 
and of its copious fullness and beauty. 

The next year I was appointed to Point Pleasant 
circuit, in Western Virginia. Here I found a large 
German settlement Avho were destitute of a preacher, 


and when they found I could speak some German, 
they made a strong request for me to preach to them 
in their own language. I excused myself on the 
ground that I was not suflBciently familiar with their 
language; that my mother tongue was only the so-> 
called Pennsylvania German, very different from the 
pure written German, and that I would of course 
make many blunders in trying to preach to them. 
To this they replied, " We will excuse all mistakes ; 
only speak to us as well as you can, and we will be 
satisfied." I thereupon agreed to do so, and on the 
appointed day there was a large congregation of Ger- 
mans out. They were hungry for the word of life, 
and I looked at them with pity. I arose in the con- 
gregation, and tried to speak. My sentences were 
disconnected and badly constructed ; yet many of my 
hearers were deeply affected, and wept profusely 
when they heard the name of Jesus and Savior in 
their own language, in a public assembly. My own 
heart was deeply affected. After speaking to them 
for a short time, I read to them the General Rules of 
our Society, translated by brother Nast. Seeing their 
earnestness and great desire for religious instruction, 
I could not but think of the many Germans scattered 
all over our country like sheep without a shepherd. 
I believed that the Lord would yet convert brother 
Nast, and send him forth among the thousands of 
Germans to collect them to the fold of Christ. 

During this year, 1835, brother Nast was con- 
verted — delivered from the bondage of sin, and 
brought into the liberty of God's children. When 
I heard of this event, I resolved to make him a 
visit at the first opportunity ; consequently, at the 


close of the conference year, I returned to Ohio, and 
found him at Kenyon College, in Knox county, Ohio. 
As soon as he saw me, he ran to me with extended 
arms, threw them around my neck, and exclaimed, 
" 0, brother Miller, I feel very different from what I 
did when I saw you in Virginia. Bless the Lord ! he 
has delivered me from all my fears." How changed 
his countenance, his language, his manner ! The 
whole man was changed. He was no longer the de- 
sponding and self-despairing mourner, looking in 
every direction for help, and finding none, but the 
joyful follower of the Savior, full of the power of his 
grace, with the Gospel word like a fire shut up in his 
bones, and anxious to proclaim this salvation to his 

After an evening's conversation at brother Nast's 
room, in the college building, I told him I would go 
to the hotel for my lodging. "No," said brother 
Nast, " you are my guest ; you sleep on my cot and I 
will sleep on the floor ;" and nothing but my comply- 
ing with this request would satisfy him. "As to sup- 
per," said he, " I have plenty of brown bread and 
molasses." We talked till about midnight, and then 
lay down to sleep, with more joyful hearts than many 
others had on beds of down. 

Brother Nast told me he must and would preach, 
and if the Church would not receive him and give 
him work, he would teach in some college and de- 
vote the proceeds of his labors toward supporting 
a preacher. 

Soon after his conversion he was licensed to preach, 
and commenced his missionary labors among the Ger- 
mans. At the conference in 1835 he received his 



first appointment as missionary to the Germans in 
Cincinnati. An account of his labors will be given in 
connection with his own experience. 

In this year I was removed from Western Virginia 
to the Indiana line, and appointed to Greenville cir- 
cuit. It may not be inappropriate to give a sketch 
of some of the difficulties many of us had to pass 
through in those days, for the encouragement of those 
who now imagine that they have many difficulties and 
hardships to contend Avith. Greenville was at that 
time one of the poorest circuits in the Ohio confer- 
ence. It was a low, wet country, much subject to 
chills and fevers ; and a majority of the people in 
Greenville had the chills during the fall, and the 
people through the country did not fare much bet- 
ter. Soon after the conference of 1835 I was mar- 
ried, and when I Avent to my circuit the people were 
kind enough to let me know that they were poor, and 
could not pay me much. I gave them to understand 
that I was not alarmed at this; for during the previous 
year, which was my last year in Virginia, I had re- 
ceived only forty-five dollars as my entire salary, and 
when I left the state I sold my horse and settled up 
my affairs. 

After waiting a day for a steamboat, and finding 
none, I built me a small raft by nailing a few slabs 
and planks together, and started down the Kanawha 
river for the Ohio. I got a man to take my raft to 
the middle of the stream, and when I was balanced 
on a block of wood in the center of my craft, I found 
the top of it even with the water, and had to keep 
myself nicely poised to keep from being swamped. 
Thus I floated with the current a distance of some 

A D A M M I L L E R . 67 

forty miles. The river was very high, and the cur- 
rent rapid, and some time in the night I arrived at 
the mouth of the river, and was taken to shore by 
Captain Slye, who was out in the night on business, 
and heard my loud calls for help. He came after me 
with a skiff, and overtook me just as I was entering 
the Ohio river. I have often since thought that this 
was a hazardous and foolhardy adventure, but I have 
this plea to ofier for my folly : I was far from home, 
was anxious to reach it, and wanted to save every 
dime I had for future emergency. 

At the mouth of the Kanawha I took steamboat for 
Portsmouth, and from thence went by canal to where 
my old friend and benefactor, brother M'Dowell, re- 
sided, in Muskingum county. I have no doubt that 
many of our preachers endured similar hardships and 
privations in their early itinerancy in the west, and 
we only refer to them to assure our German brethren, 
many of whom are now enduring privations and suf- 
ferings for the Gospel's sake, that others before them 
endured the same, and continued in the work under 
the most pressing wants, without even thinking of 
abandoning the work on account of small allowance 
and consequent embarrassment. 

I commenced my labors on Greenville circuit, very 
much disappointed that I had not been stationed near 
brother Nast's field of labor, to enable me to continue 
my studies of the German language under -his instruc- 
tions ; but such was the indifference with which this 
matter was viewed at that time by many of the lead- 
ing men of our conference, that it was not considered 
important to have any more German preachers. Even 
brother Nast, who had been thrown upon the hands 


of the conference by the good providence and mercy 
of God, was looked upon with indifference by many ; 
though some thought they saw, in his accession to the 
Church, the prospect of a great future work among 
the Germans. I continued the study of the German 
language, however, in the midst of my hard labors on 
the circuit. The people were poor and could not pay 
much. I bought my firewood in the country, chopped 
it, and hauled it home on a small wagon. I gave les- 
sons in German to some young men in Greenville, 
who wished to commence the study of the language 
on evenings when I was at home, for which they 
kindly paid me twenty dollars. 

But our prospects for a living became more gloomy 
every day. I was in debt ; and wheat was high, flour 
scarce, and I had no money to purchase. We used 
corn bread till finally the corn gave out. I then 
went to a brother in the country and made known 
my wants, and told him I must have some corn, to 
which he replied that he had but little to spare, and 
what he had he intended to take to town to purchase 
goods for a cloak. I had a cloak half worn out, which 
I immediately offered him for corn. He accepted the 
offer. I took the corn and gave the cloak. We 
lived well on corn bread and a small quantity of 
meat, and I traveled some of the coldest weather 
during the winter without a cloak. Toward spring 
the friends in Piqua heard of my condition, and gen- 
erously bought me materials for an overcoat. By 
this time my other clothes were well-nigh worn 
out, and I had no money to buy, being already as 
deeply in debt as I dared venture. I had the offer 
of a good school if I would quit my work and go to 


teaching; but I was an itinerant in the Methodist 
Church and not for sale to any higher bidder. As 
the last resort my excellent wife, who would not have 
me stop preaching for any consideration, put patches 
on my worn-out garments, and I went on preaching, 
glad that I had things as comfortable as they were. 

During the following summer I attended a camp 
meeting near Troy, Ohio. My patched garments 
soon excited the sympathy of my good friend. Rev. 
G. W. Walker. He called me to take a walk with 
him into the grove, and asked me why I had come 
to camp meeting with such poor clothing; to which I 
replied that it was the best I had, and being already 
in debt, I did not feel justified in going deeper in 
debt, and could get no money on the circuit to pur- 
chase clothing. He gave me five dollars, with which 
I bought stufi" for pantaloons and vest, and my wife 
traded oif a fine watch, which she had when we were 
married, for a good piece of broadcloth, out of which 
I had a coat made, so that in the fall I went to con- 
ference as neatly clad as most of the preachers — and 
very few were aware of the difficulties I had passed 
through. I may state here that we received about 
ninety dollars for quarterage, house-rent, table ex- 
penses, moving, etc. I mention these things in this 
place to let our young German missionaries know what 
hardships we formerly had to undergo. 

In an early day on the frontier work we had to 
endure many privations and hardships for the Gos- 
pel's sake, and never thought of giving up the min- 
istry on account of these embarrassments. Others 
of our ministers of earlier days could tell of similar or 
severer trials, but found their reward in the success 


of their ministry, I kept up a correspondence with 
brother Nast, and waited with great anxiety to hear 
from time to time the result of his labors in Cincin- 
nati. At the close of the year he reported a small 
society collected under his labors ; but such was the 
unpromising state of the mission in Cincinnati that it 
was discontinued at the end of the year, and brother 
Nast was appointed to a circuit including a large 
portion of central and northern Ohio. He made his 
round every six weeks. The Lord blessed his la- 
bors in many places, and a number were converted. 
In this way there was here and there a nucleus 
formed, around which large societies have since been 
raised up. 

Many amusing as well as interesting scenes oc- 
curred during brother Nast's first year's itinerancy. 
Unaccustomed to horseback exercise, and having a 
rather stubborn animal to deal with, he was fre- 
quently thrown from his horse into the mud. His 
horse would run from him ; and he, with his saddle- 
bags on his arm, would have to travel on foot some- 
times for many miles before he could overtake him. 
He once told me his horse had treated him so badly 
that he became almost discouraged, and it occurred 
to him, as he was in the Lord's service he would lay 
the matter before the Lord; so he hitched his horse and 
kneeled down under a tree and prayed earnestly to 
the Lord to control the bad disposition of his horse. 
Those who were well acquainted with brother Nast 
at that time will attribute the greatest sincerity to 
him in this matter, for he made it a matter of con- 
science "in every thing by prayer and supplication 
to make known his requests unto God." 


Dr. Nast will pardon me for relating another oc- 
currence in his itinerancy, which he frequently 
related to the amusement of his friends. He had 
been told by some old hero of the saddle-bags he 
must take good care of his own horse, curry and feed 
him well, etc. Willing to follow instructions in every 
thing, he went out one morning to feed and curry 
his horse, and when he had gone through the opera- 
tion systematically, as he thought, a stranger walked 
into the stable and remarked to him, "Mr. Nast, 
why did you go to the trouble of currying and feed- 
ing my horse? I could have done it myself." And 
not till then was he aware that he had curried the 
wrong horse. So deeply absorbed in the great work 
that was before him, and so earnest was he in its 
accomplishment, he had not taken time nor care to 
form an acquaintance with his own horse. 

During the year that brother Nast traveled on his 
extensive circuit I labored on West Union circuit, and 
again devoted much of my time to prosecuting the 
study of the German language. In the following 
year brother Nast was returned to Cincinnati as a 
missionary, and I was appointed to Milford circuit, 
near Cincinnati, to enable me, as my presiding elder 
told me, to meet with brother Nast and get instruc- 
tions from him. This was in the year 1838. Dur- 
ing this year the Lord blessed the labors of brother 
Nast, and a number of souls were converted. On 
the 16th of March, in the same year, I left Batavia 
for Cincinnati, to assist brother Nast at a two days' 
meeting. It rained and snowed on me all the way; 
but I reached Cincinnati at dusk wet and cold. I 
found that there was a German prayer meeting ap- 


pointed at the old Asbury Chapel, a small frame 
house on Main-street, at the upper end of the city. 
I went to the prayer meeting. There were but a few 
out, on account of the inclemency of the weather, 
but those that were out were intelligent German 
immigrants ; and, although I had tried to exercise 
in the German language a few times in the country, 
my courage failed when I was called on to pray in 
German, and so I prayed in English. After meeting 
I went home with brother Nast, in company with 
brother Swahlen, who was then an exhorter, and one 
of the first-fruits of brother Nast's labors in Cincin- 
nati. We talked till after midnight on the future 
prospects of the German work. 

On Sabbath, March 18, 1838, at eleven o'clock, I 
tried to preach to the Germans, very much at a loss 
for words to express myself; many appeared deeply 
affected, and I soon found that they were disposed to 
make great allowance for my inaccuracies. Brother 
Nast followed with an exhortation and some remarks in 
reference to the sacrament of the Lord's supper, after 
which I administered the sacrament to the little flock. 
At three o'clock, P. M., we had a love-feast. This 
was the first meeting of the kind ever held among 
them, and our German brethren appeared deeply af- 
fected, and were much encouraged to pray, and live, 
and look for a great revival among their countrymen. 

In the evening I tried to preach again, with some 
more liberty ; and such was the anxiety of our German 
brethren for me to succeed in my efforts that they 
urged me to keep on trying, and assured me that I 
would succeed if I would but persevere. Our friend. 
Rev. L. L. Ilamline, afterward Bishop, but then one 


of the editors of the Western Christian Advocate, 
early espoused the German cause, and made many a 
strong plea for us when it was a question of life or 
death. He was present at this meeting in the evening, 
and, at the close of my effort to preach, he related his 
experience, in English, and brother Nast interpreted 
it in German. The Germans listened with great atten- 
tion, and Avhat he said undoubtedly made a deep im- 
pression on the minds of all. 

This, I presume, was the first German sacramental 
meeting ever held among the foreign Germans in the 
Methodist Episcopal Church. One thing especially 
arrested my attention during the progress of this 
meeting. In their prayers, and in the relation of their 
experience in love-feast, they frequently expressed 
their gratitude to God that, in his good providence, 
the Methodist Church had sent them a preacher to 
teach them the way of life ; and, undoubtedly, since 
that day thousands of ardent prayers and devout 
thanks have ascended to a throne of grace, from the 
renewed hearts of the Germans, at a recollection of 
the interest which the Methodist Church has taken in 
their behalf. 

In the following year, 1839, I was appointed to the 
circuit around Cincinnati, and had frequent opportu- 
nities to visit the mission, and join in the exercises of 
worship with brother Nast, and brother Schmucker, 
who followed brother Nast, in 1839, when the former 
was 'called to the editorship of the Christian Apol- 
ogist, the first number of which was issued on the first 
of January in this year. 

At the commencement of this conference year, the 
question came up at the conference in reference to 


publialiing a German paper, and the appointment of 
another German missionary. Some were in favor of 
abandoning the work ; some looked on with indiffer- 
ence, and professed to see no prospect of doing much 
among these infidel and Roman Catholic Germans; 
while others argued that we had not the means to ex- 
pend in this way. The editors of the Western Chris- 
tian Advocate, brothers Elliott and Hamline, had taken 
a decided stand in favor of the German cause, and had 
published many a strong plea for it in their paper; and 
just at a point in the conference, when brother Hamline 
thought the interests of this infant cause was in jeop- 
ardy, he arose in his place and addressed the presi- 
dent and the conference in one of the most eloquent 
pleas we have ever listened to on a conference floor. 
Those who looked with great interest on the move- 
ments of the Church in reference to the German work, 
were much rejoiced to find so able an advocate for our 
cause, and we all felt, after the address of brother 
Hamline, and witnessing the impression it made on 
the minds of the conference, that the crisis was past. 
In this we were not disappointed. The Church came 
to the work nobly ; those who had looked on with in- 
difference espoused the cause heartily. And now, 
looking back twenty years and witnessing the results 
that have followed, we can more fully appreciate the 
importance of this advocacy of our cause at that 
time. The German paper was commenced, and has 
made its weekly visits to thousands of German fami- 
lies from that day to this. Eternity alone can tell 
how many a wanderer has been brought to the fold of 
Christ, by reading the evangelical truths it has borne 
upon its pages to its thousands of readers. 


In the year 1839 I was appointed to labor among 
the Germans in the bounds of the Cincinnati and 
Lebanon districts; and, in the year 1840, a German 
district, to which I was appointed, was formed in the 
bounds of what is now included in the Cincinnati con- 
ference. During this year I visited not only the few 
appointments in the district where preachers were 
regularly stationed, but also other points where I 
found German settlements, both in towns and country- 
places. A similar district was formed in the bounds 
of the Pittsburg conference, in the year 1840, and 
brother N. Callender was appointed to labor on it. 
By his judicious management, and untiring zeal for 
the German cause, he contributed much toward ex- 
tending the work in the bounds of his district. 

It will, however, not be in accordance with the de- 
sign of this work to enter into a detailed account of 
the different fields of labor occupied by the German 
missionaries ; my aim is to exhibit the evangelical 
character of these missionary operations, by giving 
an account of the awakening, conversion, and call to 
the ministry of the men who have been instrumental 
in carrying it forward. 




On account of long personal and very intimate 
acquaintance with Dr. Nast, since he has neither 
leisure nor disposition at this time to write an ex- 
tended narrative of his past life himself, I must give 
the reader only an outline sketch of his history. 

William Nast was born in Stuttgart, the capital of 
Wirtemberg, Germany. His father was counselor of 
finances, and connected with the affairs of the govern- 
ment. He was a man who feared God; and, accord- 
ing to the light which he had, he walked in the right 
way, and in his latter years experienced justification, 
by faith in Christ. His mother, also in advanced 
life, experienced the same blessing: and both, it is 
hoped, have gone to their reward in heaven. His 
three sisters, older than himself, were early taught 
the pure doctrines of the Gospel. They belonged to 
the more pious class of the Lutheran Church, and 
under the instructions they received in early youth 
they all embraced religion and led pious lives. 

From a small boy, under the training of his oldest 
sister, as brother Nast has often told me, he felt draw- 
ings of the Savior, and often prayed, and tried to be 
pious. His sisters were all married to clergymen of 
the Lutheran Church, and consequently he had early 


and numerous privileges with regard to religious in- 
struction, especially under the pious care of his oldest 
sister. In his eighth year he was sent from home to 
a boarding-school, from which he was taken in his 
thirteenth year, and sent to school to his brother-in- 
law, a Lutheran minister, distinguished for his piety 
as well as for his learning. His teacher gave him a 
pure evangelical education, and prepared him for 
confirmation according to the usages of the National 
Church in Germany. 

During these instructions he was truly convinced of 
sin, and deeply penitent. He said he felt the load of 
his sins pressing upon him; and, as soon as the cere- 
mony of confirmation was over, he hastened through 
the rain into the field, kneeled down and prayed the 
Lord to give him a new heart, that he might be able 
to keep his vows. He has told me frequently that the 
Lord blessed him, and he felt happy, and that he then 
and there resolved to devote himself to the missionary 
work. Little did he or his friends then think that he 
would finally be so extensively engaged in a great 
missionary movement, among his own countrymen in 
the New World. He has frequently remarked that if, 
at the time of his confirmation, he had had the privilege 
of Methodist class meetings and love-feast meetings, 
he would have grown in grace, and in the knowledge 
of the truth, and thus might have escaped the thou- 
sands of sorrows and mental gloom through which he 
had to pass in after life. 

His father died about the time of his confirmation 
and this was the means of strengthening his pious 
resolutions ; and he frequently attended the meetings 
of the Pietists, who hold private religious meetings, 


though members of the Established Church. He 
wanted to go to the. Mission-Institute at Basle, but 
his relations had destined him for the ministry in 
the Established Church. 

Those Avho are designed for the ministry get their 
education free; and fifty young men are annually 
taken to one of the four preparatory theological 
seminaries. Here he "was placed in a situation that 
was injurious to his religious life. Two of the pro- 
fessors were decided rationalists, and there were 
scarcely any of the young men in the school who 
were religiously inclined. The classics were con- 
stantly read, and the heroes of Greece and Rome, 
with their poets and philosophers, were exhibited as 
the models of every thing that was good and great. 
The prophecies concerning Christ were all explained 
away, and the miracles accounted for on natural prin- 
ciples. In fact, they had no religious education, and 
it was a solemn mockery to make any pretension to 
religion and follow the teachings of these men. 

In brother Nast's class were some of the most 
wicked as well as the most talented young men of his 
country ; about twelve of whom have since distin- 
guished themselves by their writings on theology and 
politics. Among these is Dr. Strauss, well known by 
the publication of his "Life of Jesus." This work 
aims at sapping the very foundation of religious truth. 

Brother Nast at first refused to study his Icssonsj 
on the Sabbath day, and felt a great need of a deeperj 
work of grace. His sister wrote to him, and in-j 
structed him according to the light they had, at thel 
same time warning him against S2)iritual pride. This 
only brought confusion to his mind, and he did notJ 


know liow far he could go in making a profession of 
religion, and not lay himself liable to the charge of 
being spiritually proud. Thus surrounded by tempta- 
tions without, and fears within, opposed by his fellow- 
students for his seriousness, and without a friend to 
take him by the hand, and explain to him the way of 
the Lord more perfectly, he finally yielded to tempta- 
tion, threw off restraints, and became an intimate 
friend of Strauss, who, in after years, distinguished 
himself by his infidel writings. Thus, by associating 
with the ungodly, he was led away further into the 
mazes of error, till he became a skeptic. -, 

At the close of four years of study in this depart- 
ment he went up with his class to the University, 
where the first tAvo years were devoted to the study 
of mental philosophy and its kindred branches. In 
conversation with Dr. Nast, in reference to his feel- 
ings as a skeptic, he made the following remarks: "I 
always respected religion, and frequently in my re- 
flecting moments felt a deep concern with regard to 
the awful realities of the future. The Bible, I knew, 
taught the necessity of a holy life, and I thought, 
after all, the Bible might be true ; and if true, all 
that it contains about Christ — sin — holiness — and a 
future state of righteous retribution, must follow. 
Under these reflections I often felt the necessity of 
being prepared by grace for a future state, but I had 
now become too wicked to give my heart to God." In 
reference to his preparation for, and entrance upon, 
the ministry of the Established Church in his father- 
land, I insert a communication he made to me a few 
years ago on this subject. " During the two years in 
the University," says he, "I got lost in the labyrinth 


of Pantheism, the most modern form of German 
rationalism. After I had passed my philosophical 
examination, which is equivalent to graduating in an 
American college, I came to the determination not to 
enter the three years' course of theology, which suc- 
ceeds the philosophical course, and voluntarily with- 
drew from the theological institution. My remaining 
in the Church would have secured me wealth, honor, 
and ease ; but my conscience did not permit me to 
profess and teach a doctrine which I did not believe 
from the heart, or which, at least, I interpreted in a 
different sense from the Church. I was not Avilling, 
for the sake of a living, or to please friends, to make 
a solemn promise of preaching, according to the Arti- 
cles of Religion in the Lutheran Church, which ration- 
alism had taught me to reject, and which I saw were 
rejected by most of the doctors of divinity and their 
scholars. I was conscious, too, that according to the 
teachings of the holy Scripture I was not a Christian ; 
and nothing appeared more absurd to me than that a 
man who is himself unreconciled to God, and resists 
his Holy Spirit, should dare to preach the word of 
reconciliation. I preferred to sacrifice all my prop- 
erty to pay back the cost of my education which I 
had received from the state, rather than proceed and 
enter into the ministry so utterly unfit for such a 
solemn calling." 

By thus refusing to enter the ministry he was 
thrown upon his own resources, and compelled to seek 
his living by his literary labors. He went to see a 
great poet in the north of Germany, and for some 
time, during his residence in that part of the country, 
he wrote reviews of light literature and theatrical 


performances ; but he soon met with disappointments 
and returned home. 

In the year 1828, hearing some fine accounts from 
America, and especially openings for classical teach- 
ers, he set out for the new country to seek his home 
and support among strangers in a strange land. He 
has frequently told me that, on leaving his pious rela- 
tions in Germany, he again thought he would become 
a better man and a Christian. He brought a letter 
of introduction to a distinguished clergyman of the 
Lutheran Church in America ; but the cool treatment 
he received made him bitter against the Church. He 
then went to a German doctor, the father of one of 
his University friends, and there privately began to 
study the English language, at Millersburg, on the 
Susquehanna river. Here he fell in with an Ameri- 
can gentleman, who took him into his house as a tutor 
of his children, and during his stay at this place he 
formed an acquaintance with a Unitarian preacher, 
who manifested great kindness toward him. Just as 
he was on the point of becoming a Unitarian and a 
Universalist, his friend had to move to the east. 

Mr. Nast was recommended as a tutor to a Meth- 
odist family, and here he became acquainted with 
several Methodist preachers of the Baltimore confer- 
ence. From the kind treatment which he received 
here, and from his mingling with these pious people, 
he soon became convinced of the folly of skepticism, 
and resolved again to try to be a Christian. After 
remaining one year in this Methodist family he was 
called to West Point, the seat of the military academy. 
Here the providence of God singularly opened the 
way to deliver him from his skepticism. He fell in 


with two young officers who had been converted un- 
der the preaching of Bishop M'llvainc ; he read with 
them the Hebrew, and translated " Tholuck's Conver- 
sation with the Skeptic." 

By this time he had evidently regained a longing 
desire for spiritual food, and on the Sabbath day, 
not satisfied with the dry sermons which were read 
to the military students, he was accustomed to go 
down to a little chapel on the commons to hear 
brother Romer, a preacher of the New York con- 
ference. He was generally much affected under 
brother Romer's preaching, and had earnest longings 
to be a Christian. At the annual examination at 
West Point, he heard, on one occasion. Dr. Fisk 
preach, and this sermon made a deep impression upon 
his mind. 

On inquiring into the cause of brother Nast's great 
distress of mind while undet awakening, and why dur- 
ing much of this time he inflicted such severe pen- 
ance upon himselfj I learned the following facts: 
During his stay at West Point he read Bishop Jer- 
emy Taylor's "Rules of Holy Living," and set to 
work in good earnest to make himself holy. This 
was the rock on which he came near making fearful 
shipwreck. He depended too much upon his own 
exertions, instead of being willing to be saved by 
grace. He lived abstemiously, studied hard, and im- 
posed many a grievous burden upon himself, because, 
as he told me, " his reason could not comprehend how 
it would be consistent with divine justice that the 
sinner should be absolved from the guilt and penalty 
of his sins ivitliout suffering in part Jiimself for his 
sins." He formed an acquaintance with Bishop 


M'llvaine, of the Protestant Episcopal ChurcL, Presi- 
dent elect of Kenyon College, and through his in- 
fluence he afterward went to Kenyon College as 
teacher. Various offers were made to him from dif- 
ferent places, but before engaging himself perma- 
nently any where he went to see the Methodist fam- 
ily in which he had been tutor. Here he met Rev. 
D. Steele, of the Baltimore conference, who, with 
some others, was going to camp meeting in the Tus- 
carawa Valley, on the banks of the Juniata river. 
Brother Nast accompanied them in a boat chartered 
by the Methodists ; and while they sung their hymns 
and appeared happy, he became more sensible of his 
spiritual poverty. With fair prospects for this life 
he felt that he had none for the future. The 
thoughts of his past life and the many opportunities 
for doing good that had been neglected weighed 
heavily upon his mind. He looked at these Meth- 
odists as the happiest people he had ever mingled 
with, and instead of despising and ridiculing them he 
wished himself as happy as they were. His heart 
was broken up and his eyes became a fountain of 
tears at the recollection of his past life. 

At this camp meeting he went to the sacrament of 
the Lord's supper, and was much melted down and 
humbled in view of his past sins. He believed that 
the Lord blessed him, and had he then gone on be- 
lieving in Christ and trusting in his merits he would 
undoubtedly have grown in grace and advanced in 
the way to everlasting life. But the adversary of 
his soul was not willing to give him up, and soor. 
clouds of darkness were gathered around him; and I 
have seldom if ever known a case of such deep men- 


tal sufferings. He went from place to place mquir ■ 
ing and looking for relief from his sorrows, inflicting 
upon himself the severest sufferings— fasting, pray- 
ing, exposing himself to inclement weather, and en- 
during various kinds of hardship. He still remained 
in the delusion before mentioned, that the sinner 
must suffer in himself a certain amount of punish- 
ment for his sins. And, considering himself a great 
sinner, he thought no punishment would be too se- 
vere for him to endure. On one occasion he actu- 
ally held his finger in a burning candle till it burned 
into a crisp, in order to wake himself up to a sense 
of his lost condition. Sometimes he was strongly 
tempted to believe that his day of grace was past — ■ 
that there was no hope nor mercy for him. He 
labored under the most dreadful apprehensions with 
regard to the future, and often wandered alone in 
his agony through the woods. While his distress was 
great on account of his own case, he in imagination 
saw before him the opening pit, and crowds of poor 
souls going down to perdition. cy 

In this condition brother Barnitz, of New Oxford, 
near Gettysburg, a true son of consolation, with his de- 
voted wife, heard of him, and took him to their house, 
talked kindly to him, reading with him "Fletcher's 
Appeal" and "Address to Seekers of Salvation." 
Gloamings of hope and clouds of despair would alter- 
nately pass before him. Sometimes a ray of hope 
would spring up, and then all was dark again. After 
spending several months in this kind family he left, 
fearing that he might become burdensome to the 
family, and that to stay would be imposing upon 
their generosity. He wanted to be away from soci- 


ety, and yet he was anxious to find some one who 
might comfort and encourage him. 
^ lie finally came to Pittsburg, and hearing of a 
camp meeting in the vicinity, conducted by Rev. 
Charles Elliott, who was then presiding elder on the 
district, he went to this camp meeting, and under the 
preaching of a sermon from these words, "Ho every 
one that thirsteth, come ye to the water," he felt 
hope again springing up. The Spirit of God carried 
the truth to his heart, and after he had prayed in 
the wood he felt some relief; but still the enemy 
assaulted him with his temptations, and soon a cloud 
of darkness was over his mind. In all his trials he 
found friends to sympathize with him. Some of his 
friends took him to a very pious old Christian lady, 
by the name of Patrick, who talked very kindly and 
encouragingly to him, and on one occasion on a sick- 
bed, expecting to die, said to him, " William, do n't 
doubt. You will get the blessing ; the Lord has a 
great work for you to do. You will yet take the 
Gospel trumpet, and publish the Savior's name to 
your countrymen." I well recollect having heard of 
this prediction of sister Patrick when I was at Zanes- 
ville, Ohio, the first time I heard of brother Nast. 

From Pittsburg he went to Wheeling, Virginia, and 
staid over night with brother Lambdin, an old Meth- 
odist preacher, and related to him his sad and 
hopeless condition. Brother Lambdin encouraged 
him, and he went on his way through Zanesville to 
Kenyon College, in Knox county, Ohio, where he 
had a situation as a teacher. Here he found Pro- 
fessor Buckingham, one of his old West Point 
friends, and in vacation he went with the Professor to 



Putnam. During this visit he heard Rev. Henry S. 
Fernandes preach, and under his ministry and by his 
kind treatment and loving Christian conversation his 
fears were in some degree removed. Upon his return 
to Kenyon College his distress of mind came on 
again, and he visited Putnam the second time to see 
brother Fernandes, with a hope of deriving aid and 
encouragement from him. He was not in town at 
the time, but brother Nast became acquainted with a 
brother Cubbage, who was going down the Mus- 
kingum river with a flat-boat, and who invited him 
to go along. Accordingly he did so. They went 
down the Muskingum to the Ohio, and down the 
Ohio to Gallipolis, and from this place he went to 
Mr. Newton's, where I found him, as stated in a pre- 
vious chapter. 

■~~' I will now give a more particular account of his 
conversion, and the commencement of his ministry. 
After his return from Western Virginia his deep dis- 
tress of mind and penitence for his past sins con- 
tinued, and he visited the different meetings within his 
reach; frequently approached the altar of prayer, 
and continued for hours upon his knees seeking for 
mercy; still there appeared no comfort for him. He 
afterward told me that when he was praying he seemed 
to have a pair of scales before him, and putting his 
repentance on one side, and his sins on the other, he 
never could make an even balance, depending too 
much upon his own exertion, instead of looking di- 
rectly to Christ for salvation. In this condition he 
went to a quarterly meeting, held in the town of Dan- 
ville, Knox county, Ohio; Rev. Adam Poe was the 
presiding elder of the district. There was a powerful 


revival in progress at the meeting, and a number were 
awakened and converted. He, with others, went for- 
ward for the prayers of the Church ; but no one there 
knew any thing of the peculiarities of his condition. 
He prayed with his usual fervor and earnestness; and, 
after a while, arose to leave the church ; looking back 
upon the happy converts, and hearing them shout 
aloud the praise of God, suddenly these words, " There 
is bread enough in my Father's house," were im- 
pressed with divine power upon his mind. His spirit- 
ual eyes were opened to see the fullness of the merit 
of Christ. In that moment, thinking no more of his 
want of qualifications, he resolved to approach the 
mercy-seat once more. He hastened back to a corner 
of the house, fell on his knees to plead once more 
Avith God for mercy, but as he this time offered noth- 
ing but Jesus, the moment he opened his mouth to ask 
his prayer was answered. He was filled with joy un- 
utterable and full of glory, and obtained the long- 
sought witness of the Spirit, clearer than the light of 
the sun. This was on the 17th of January, 1835. 
He returned to the college and told the students and 
professors what the Lord had done for him; called 
them together, and kneeled down and prayed Avith 
them, and gave thanks to God for his goodness to him. 

He was soon afterward licensed to preach, and by 
the quarterly conference recommended to be received 
into the traveling connection. Rev. Adam Poe, his 
presiding elder, took a deep interest in his case, and 
presented his recommendation to the conference, held 
in Springfield, Ohio, in the fall of 1835. 

Numerous objections were made to the establish- 
ment of a German mission, and that too by some of 


the most influential members of the conference. 
Brother Poe, however, enhsted Rev. J. B. Finley, 
and some others, in behalf of the new project, and 
brother Nast was admitted into the conference. But, 
after all, such was the indijBFerence with which it was 
viewed, that very limited appropriations were made for 
the support of the mission, and during brother Nast's 
first year he received an appropriation of one hundred 
dollars. During his second year on his large mission, 
for himself and his wife, he received only one hun- 
dred and fifty. He was returned to Cincinnati in 
1837 and '38, when provisions were very high, but he 
received only one hundred dollars more; though, at 
the same time, he was ofi'ered a professorship in a 
college with a salary of eight hundred. 

I have mentioned these things, not in the spirit of 
boasting or complaining, but to show that the provi- 
dence of God opened the way and carried on this 
work. There had been no deep-laid plans, no great 
preparations or calculations on the part of the Church 
for carrying on this work; and now we may say, "let 
no man glory in men," but give all praise to God for 
the success with which he has crowned the labors of 
his servants in this department of our missionary 

After having made these outline statements, in refer- 
ence to the awakening and conversion of brother Nast, 
and the origin of the German missions, I close this 
chapter with the hope that Dr. Nast may be induced, 
at some future day, to publish an extended memoir of 
himself, and a full account of his labors among the 




I "WAS born in Switzerland, December 25, 1808 ; 
and, on the 1st of January, 1809, was dedicated to 
God in holy baptism. I lost my mother in my sixth 
year: my father's sister, a woman that feared God, 
discharged the duties of a mother to me. I heard 
her, on one occasion, relate her experience, which 
made a deep impression on my mind. 

When I was fourteen years old I was put under in- 
struction to prepare me for confirmation, according to 
the customs of the Reformed Church in that place; 
and if the preacher, under whose care I was, had been 
a converted man, I am convinced that I might then 
have been converted. It was a very solemn matter 
for me to renew my baptismal vow, in taking upon 
myself the obligations of confirmation ; and I also had 
at that time an especial inclination to devote myself 
to God. 

The preacher gave each of those that were con- 
firmed a certificate of confirmation, containing some 
texts of Scripture. Mine had the following : 1 Tim- 
othy iv, 12, "Let no man despise thy youth; but be. 
thou an example of the believers, in word, in conA^en*"- 
sation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity;" and 
Titus ii, 7, "In all things shewing thyself a pattern 
of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, 



gravity, sincerity." This made a deep impression on 
my mind. 

As I heard of migration to America I became very 
desirous to go. Finally, my older brother and my- 
self concluded to go to America; and on the 12th of 
December, 1832, we arrived safely at New Orleans. 
In this strange country my mind was first more es- 
pecially directed to temporal things ; but, in the sum- 
mer of 1835, I had many drawings of the Holy Spirit, 
and much desired to form an acquaintance with pious 
persons, but knew not where to find them. I some- 
times went to Church, and was often affected under 
the sermon ; but I saw that the people knew as little 
of religion as I did, and I sought for some one that 
would take me by the hand and lead me in the way of 

I had often heard of the Methodists, but never 
heard any thing good of them ; yet I became desirous 
to hear them for myself. I thought perhaps they 
were persecuted for righteousness' sake. How to hear 
them I did not know. English I could not under- 
stand, and of German Methodist preachers there were 
none. While thinking of the great number of Ger- 
mans in Cincinnati going astray like myself, I con- 
cluded that if the Methodists were the people of God, 
they would also be induced to send preachers to the 
Germans. In this I was not disappointed, for, in the 
fall of the same year, the Ohio conference sent the 
Rev. Wm. Nast to Cincinnati, and as soon as I heard 
of it I inquired for him, and went to hear him the 
first time in the Fourth-street Methodist Church. 
The sermon cut me to the heart as I had never been 
before. The second time I heard him in the old frame 

JOHN SW All LEN. 91 

church on Main-street, called " Asbury Chapel." 
Here I was called on to come to a determination. 
He invited seekers of religion to come to the altar of 
prayer. Finally, I thought that the whole world can 
not help me Avhen I come to die, and so arose and 
went to the altar, but did not obtain an evidence of 
the pardon of my sins. About three weeks after this, 
as I Avas going home from a meeting, with my heart 
all melted and broken up, I went to my chamber, 
several times falling on my knees. While praying to 
God, I, for the first time, felt the love of God power- 
fully shed abroad in my heart. 

I thank God that he put it into the hearts of the 
Methodists to send preachers among the Germans. 
If this had not been the case I might have been cut 
down as a fruitless cumberer of the ground. In the 
year 1836 brother Nast was sent into the country, 
and in 1837 he was returned to the city once more 
to preach to his countrymen repentance and faith. 
Without detailing all the difficulties we had to pass 
through in our first efforts to form a class among the 
Germans in Cincinnati, I will state that, as I felt a 
great desire for the salvation of my countrymen, and 
to do something to advance the cause which had done 
so much for me, I was recommended for license to 
exhort. I received my first license in 1838, and in 
the fall of the same year I was sent to Wheeling to 
see if any thing could be done for the Germans there. 
Having found twelve persons who were seeking their 
salvation, I remained with them, exhorting them and 
praying with them two weeks, during which time a 
class of twenty-four was formed, and after a glorious 
two weeks' meeting" I returned to Cincinnati and 


reported Avhat the Lord had done for us. Some time 
after this the quarterly conference at Wesley Chapel 
granted me license to preach, and Bishop Morris sent 
me back to Wheeling to take care of the little flock. 
In July, 1839, I was received on trial into the Pitts- 
burg conference, and was returned as missionary to 

God was with us in this new mission, sinners were 
awakened and converted, and we soon found ourselves 
under the necessity of building a house of worship. 
Although the times were hard, we went to work in 
good earnest. Our German brethren took a deep in- 
terest in this work, and gave very liberally to help it 
forward. I laid the matter before our English breth- 
ren, and they helped us liberally. We commenced 
the work in faith, and the Lord helped us. By the I 
next conference our house was finished, and we had 
eighty-three members. This was the first German 
Methodist Episcopal Church built in this country. It 
was dedicated by brother Nast. His heart was filled 
with gratitude to God for that which he had done for 
us. But if we now look over our German missionary 
work, we have abundant reason to bow in gratitude 
before God. May he continue to bless us ! 

Gf. A. BREUNIG. 93 



I WAS born in Germany, of Roman Catholic parents, 
who used their best endeavors to have me instructed 
in every thing necessary to my present and everlast- 
ing well-being. I was early made acquainted with 
the various means of grace and sacraments, of which 
the Roman Catholic Church acknowledges seven ; 
namely, baptism, confirmation, sacrament of the 
Lord's supper, penance, extreme unction, holy or- 
ders, and marriage. Notwithstanding she is so rich 
in the means of grace, and I had observed the most 
of them, yet I was ungodly, and became more so 
from day to day. I sought the pleasures of the world 
as much as was in my power, and my disposition for 
those things increased daily. I was, however, not con- 
cerned on that account, for I comforted myself with 
the reflection that I was a Catholic Christian. Often 
I heard from the pulpit, in the school, and from my 
parents, how much better we were off than thousands 
of our fellow-men who were not Roman Catholic 
Christians, and on that account could have no hope 
of salvation. 

When I thought of dying, it is true, I did not ex- 
pect to go to heaven directly, but to purgatory, of 
which I was not so much afraid, because it was only 
for a time. Yet, upon occasions, I felt very restless, 


on account of my sins, and tlicn would go to confes- 
sion. This was always a hard task for me ; because 
I had been taught in the school that no sins dare be 
kept secret, but that each particular sin, of whatever 
kind it might be, must be faithfully related to the 

I was always very much ashamed of confessing; 
and it often happened that I spent the afternoon of 
the holy Sabbath in committing the same sins which 
I had confessed in the forenoon, and for which I bad 
taken the sacrament. My conscience, however, from 
time to time, reminded me of death and judgment ; 
but I endeavored to dismiss such thoughts by observ- 
ing the conduct of my fellow-men, who were esteemed 
good Christians. Even our school-teacher, Avho was 
considered a good Christian, was a distinguished lover 
of card-playing and dancing ; and not till some years 
after, when an illegitimate daughter sued him for her 
part of the inheritance, and in that manner made 
manifest his disgrace, were the eyes of the people ,lj 
opened to his real character. My preacher, also, was 
often seen at the card-table and in the dancing-room, 
and this, withal, on the Lord's day ! May the Savior 
open the eyes of the deceiver as well as the deceived ! 

Till my twenty-third year I participated in all the 
pleasures of the world, although I went, from time to 
time, according to custom, to confession. On one 
occasion the Pope proclaimed a jubilee throughout all 
Roman Christendom. Men were to be released from 
all present and eternal punishment by following cer- 
tain precepts ; namely, to visit a certain number of 
churches, to repeat a certain number of prayers each 
day, to abstain from certain meats, go to confession 

G. A. BREUNIG. 95 

and communion ; and should one die during this time, 
he was not to go to purgatory, but immediately to 
heaven. I now expected to be made free from all the 
burden of my sins, and therefore observed all the 
precepts punctiliously ; but my corroding conscience 
did not suffer itself to be thus quieted; my soul 
thirsted for something else. 

God by his Holy Spirit powerfully called me, and I 
promised him to mend my life. I began to feel an 
inward hatred to the sins which I had previously 
loved — I kept myself from all vain company, and be- 
came fond of reading and praying. I endeavored to 
keep my serious impressions from others; yet my 
father and the family soon observed that there was a 
great change in me. The Lord permitted me to see 
the nature of my sins, so that I took a dislike to 
ungodly people, and looked around me in vain to 
find good people. I then thought if I would go to 
America I might there serve God in solitude ; but much 
as I wanted to go I lacked the means. By his good 
providence the Lord inclined the heart of a very 
rich neighbor of ours to go to America. I made 
known to him my condition and desire to go with 
him, and upon my request he advanced the money 
to pay my passage. We came over in the year 1833, 
and through the blessing of God in two years rafted ^ 
our arrival I was able to pay my benefactor. 

When I arrived in Baltimore I embraced the first . 
opportunity to go to confession and to communion, 
and renewed my determination to lead a life well 
pleasing to God. Soon after this I became ac- 
quainted with a Lutheran, who was a very friendly 
man. As often as we conversed together on the 


subject of religion deep sighs would arise from my 
breast. He smiled, and asked me why I sighed. 
Upon this I disclosed to him the condition of my 
soul. He praised God, and said this was the new 
birth. I was much astonished at what he told me, 
and was rejoiced to have found a man to whom I 
could open my heart. I endeavored, accordingly, to 
believe his instruction, that God had pardoned my 
sins ; but I could believe this only at certain times ; at 
other times my faith would forsake me entirely, be- 
cause I yet felt the dominion of sin, and had a tor- 
menting fear of death. Not till three years after- 
ward did I experience that this Avas not the new 
birth, but only the commencement of the work of 
grace — that the new-born soul feels peace with God 
through Jesus Christ, and obtains an evidence as 
clear as a sick man feels when he has found a remedy 
for his disease. To tell, however, how I obtained this 
I. must again return to my Lutheran friend. 

He exhorted me to read the Bible, and especially 
the New Testament; and said when I prayed I 
should pray to no one but God, in the name of Jesus 
Christ; that I should not call upon the saints nor 
the Virgin Mary to make intercessions for me, for 
Jesus Christ is the only mediator and intercessor be- 
tween God and man. He told me that the Roman 
Catholic held some injurious and gross errors. This 
I did not like to hear; and I answered that the Ro- 
man Church commands nothing that is unnecessary — 
that it was all good and wholesome if correctly used ; 
yet scruples entered my mind in reference to my 
answer. I asked myself whether I had not kept all 
things that the Church commanded me, and whether 

G. A. BREUNIG. 97 

I was not, after all, a poor sinner, exposed to damna- 
tion ? I therefore followed the counsel of my friend, 
and commenced to read the New Testament. Wisely 
he pointed me to the following passages: "A bishop, 
then, must be the husband of one wife — one that 
ruleth well his own house, having his children in 
subjection with all gravity." 1 Timothy iii, 1-5. 
Again: "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in 
the latter times some shall depart from the faith, 
giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of dev- 
ils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their con- 
science seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, 
and commanding to abstain from meats, which God 
hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them 
which believe and know the truth. For every crea- 
ture of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it 
be received with thanksgiving : for it is sanctified by 
the word of God and prayer." 1 Timothy iv, 1-5. 
These passages brought me to reflection. Above all, 
I wished to examine whether the Lutheran Bible 
agreed with the Catholic. I therefore borrowed a 
Catholic Testament. The comparison of one with 
the other, convinced me that these passages were the 
same in both. God gave me grace to believe that 
it was his infallible word, and that men are fallible 
and liable to turn aside from his word. 

I now visited my friend frequently, in order to ob- 
tain an opportunity to read in his Bible. My confi- 
dence increased, and I obtained more and more light; 
yet I did not think that I would leave the Roman 
Catholic Church, and I continued two years in this 
determination. I went diligently to Church and em- 
braced all opportunities to serve God. During this 



time it also happened that a Catholic offered to sell 
me a New Testament. lie said he had read enough 
in it in his youth, and would have nothing more to 
do with it. I gave him fifty cents for it, and was 
now very much rejoiced that I, for myself, had once 
obtained a New Testament. My delight in reading 
increased from day to day. My conscience like- 
wise became more and more tender. I spent all 
my evening hours in reading. My spiritual eyes 
were more and more opened, and the light shone 
brighter and brighter. The words of the Gospel 
shone into my heart. The words of Jesus were to 
me quickening, full of comfort and instruction. Soon 
after this I bought myself a Bible, which I read in 
my shop, in order to improve every leisure moment 
I had in reading. I also sometimes went into the 
Lutheran Church, not with any intention to forsake 
my own, but only in order to prove the doctrine. I 
must, however, confess that soon I liked the preaching 
and singing in the Lutheran Church much better than 
the Roman Catholic worship ; for I understood what 
was sung, and could join in singing; while in the mass 
there was nothing for my understanding nor heart — 
when it was over it was to me like an empty dream 
from which one awaketh. From the Lutheran ser- 
mons I likewise received more benefit, because I heard 
more of Jesus, and the Avord preached according to 
the teaching of the Bible. 

I was now so far acquainted with the doctrines of 
the Gospel that I could no longer believe in the 
adoration of the saints and relics, and purgatory, and 
such like things. I also no longer believed in mass, 
because I never had obtained a benefit from it. It 

G. A. BREUNIG. 99 

was very objectionable to my mind that worship in 
mass and vespers were performed in the Latin lan- 
guage, which I could not understand. I could truly, 
with many others, repeat the words, but I knew not 
the meaning. How foolish and sinful it is to ap- 
proach God in prayer without knowing what we say ! 
A priest who heard of me visited me during this 
time, in order to warn me against falling off. I told 
him that I intended to believe nothing but the Bible ; 
whereupon he answered me that the primitive Chris- 
tians had no Bibles, and that we dare not alone fol- 
low the Bible. I told him that the primitive Chris- 
tians had the Old Testament and the four Gospels, 
and before the apostles departed from this world 
they also had the epistles in their possession. He 
sought, by all kinds of artful persuasion, to turn me 
from my simplicity and sincerity in the faith of the 
Gospel, and recommended a book to me which he 
would send me, and which I had to promise to read. 
This book I found full of pretended showings, that 
the Roman Catholic was the only infallible and true 
Church ; but the most of the arguments were not taken 
from the Bible, but from the primitive fathers; and 
among those that were taken from the Bible the sense 
of the inspired writers was, in many places, misrep- 
resented. So, through the preacher and the book, I 
was brought to discover that, if I read and believed 
the Bible, I could not remain a Roman Catholic; 
and if I did remain one I must lay aside the Bible, 
and content myself with what the priest told me. I 
was now brought to an inward conflict. The scoffs 
which I should have to endure from my acquaintances 
if I went out from among them ; the ill-will of my 


father and my relations if they should hear of it; the 
fearful curse pronounced by the Church upon the dis- 
obedient; these things, like great mountains, stood 
in my way. On the other hand, it appeared impossi- 
ble for me to lay aside the word of God, for it was 
sweeter to my soul than honey or the honeycomb. 
It had drawn my heart, as the magnet draws the 
metal. When I read it I thought every word gave 
witness that the Bible contains nothing but God's 

Frequently while reading I would have almost in- 
voluntarily to fall upon my knees, and with a loud 
voice praise God for his unspeakable gift. However, 
after I had read the priest's book, doubts and dark- 
ness came upon me — my heart was broken down and 
my eyes were filled with tears. At a certain time 
my inward conflict rose so high that I was on the 
borders of despair. I did not regard the persecu- 
tion of my friends. My only concern was to find the 
right way. I felt that I could no longer live without 
certainty in religion. I could not depend upon man. 
The Catholics could not take from me the light that 
God had given to me. Neither could the Lutherans, 
notwithstanding they did all they could, give me that 
peace which my soul desired. In this disposition 
of mind I went once, at midnight, under the open 
sky, threw myself upon my knees, and called upon 
God in the name of Jesus, " 0, God, thou hast said, 
'If a child should ask bread of a father, would he 
give him a stone? and if he should ask for a fish, 
would he give him a serpent ? If ye, then, being 
evil, can give good gifts unto your children, how much 
more will God give the Holy Spirit to them that ask 

a. A. BRETJNIG. 101 

him!' 0, God, most merciful Savior, thou art not 
like unto man ; thou knowest what I desire. I desire 
to get upon the right way, and walk therein. 0, 
teach thou me what I shall do." In this manner I 
prayed for some length of time, and then retired to 
my bed again. I could, however, sleep but little, for 
my soul was engaged for the one thing needful. As 
I entered the workshop in the morning, the first 
thing I viewed was the Bible, which was lying by 
the side of the priest's book, upon a bench. I felt an 
inexpressible drawing toward it. I took it, kissed it, 
and leaped for joy. I opened and read, and every 
letter appeared to say to me, this is the way to truth. 
I looked at the priest's book with disapprobation, and 
returned it to its owner. 

From this time I went no more to the Roman 
Catholic Church. Now I was pointed at by the finger 
of scorn. I, however, was not concerned about it. 
My nearest friend, a rigid Catholic, did all he could 
to win me back, and said I would go where Luther is. 
"Yes, dear brother," replied I, "this is my earnest 
desire. I firmly believe that he is in heaven" — when 
I said this, my friend turned pale, and crossed him- 
self — " like Huss, and many others, whom the Romish 
Church executed, through her inquisitions; and had 
they the power this day, I, too, would have been led 
to the slaughter bench. Yet I believe that, for Jesus 
and the sake of his truth, I should be willing to sufifer 
all." Whereupon my friend said I had drank whisky, 
and showed me the room door. I remembered that 
they called my Savior a wine-bibber, and said Peter 
was drunken Avith new wine, and was glad to suffer 
reproach for Jesus' sake. So far God had enlightened 


me througli his precious word, but I lacked some- 
thing yet of being a Christian. 

I was acquainted Avith some Lutheran brethren, Avho, 
like myself, were seeking the salvation of their souls. 
We agreed to hold a prayer meeting once a week, of 
which the Lutheran preacher himself was the leader. 
He was an honest man, who taught us the way as well 
as he knew it himself; but as he was infirm, he soon 
left us ; exhorting us, however, before his departure, 
that we should continue to assemble for prayer, and 
appointing me the leader. We obeyed his instruc- 
tion, but found ourselves much embarrassed, because 
none of us would venture to pray extemporaneously 
m public, notwithstanding we could pray in secret; 
but God helped us in our extremity. In the house 
where we held our meeting, I met a man whom I 
heard speak with the landlord on the subject of 
religion, and whom I loved, and in whom I had con- 
fidence. I laid our case before him, and asked him 
to become our leader, to which he consented. He 
opened our meeting with singing and prayer, read a 
portion of Scripture, and exhorted us from it, and 
then called upon us to pray. We all excused our- 
selves, whereupon he concluded with prayer, himself, 
and asked us wdiether we would meet again. We 
met again the following Sabbath, as there was no 
preaching in the Lutheran church at that time. After 
he had opened the meeting, as before, he explained 
to us more clearly the nature of evangelical repent- 
ance ; and that upon repentance faith must follow, 
through which Ave receive tlie forgiveness of our sins; 
and that Avithout it Ave could not inherit the kingdom 
of God. While he was speaking it pleased God to 

a. A. BREUNIG. 103 

baptize mc with fire and with the Holy Ghost. It 
appeared to me as if mountains \aj upon my heart. 
My burden pressed me so heavily that I cried aloud 
to God. I sought to restrain myself, but could not. 
I then cast myself into the arms of Jesus, who says : 
" Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy 
laden, and I will give you rest;" and, at once, I 
obtained peace with God. Now my mouth was opened, 
and I could pray and praise God; for I was made a 
partaker of the Spirit, through which I could cry, 
" Abba, Father." The Spirit of God gave witness to 
my spirit that I was a child of God. Old things had 
passed away, and behold, all things had become new. 
Every word in the Bible spoke peace to my soul. 
Soon afterward my wife and sixteen others received 
the same blessing. 

After my conversion, and the conversion of my 
wife, which occurred eight days afterward, we had 
no privileges to meet and converse with religious 
people in our own language ; so we went to the 
English Methodist Episcopal Church, and joined on 
probation, in the year 1837. We w^ere then living 
in Detroit, Michigan, where the Methodists had a good 
society. I became much attached to the Church, 
notwithstanding I could not understand nor speak 
much of the English language, yet the means of 
grace in the Church was a great blessing to me. On 
the 11th of April I received license to exhort, and 
on the 29th of June, 1839, I received license as a 
local preacher. In October, the same year, I went to 
Cincinnati, by the recommendation of Bishop Soule. 
Here I labored with brother Schmucker, as local 
preacher, till the Ohio conference, 1840, when I 


was received on trial into conference and sent to 
Scioto mission. 

I went out in the name of the Lord, to look after 
the Germans, scattered here and there, and to preach 
to them a crucified Redeemer. With many tears I 
scattered the seeds of Gospel truth, and during the 
first year several classes were formed, and a number 
were converted. During the second year more fruits 
of my labor were seen, and never will I forget the 
special display of the power of God in some parts of 
my field of labor. At the close of my second year 
I had one hundred and thirteen members on the 
Church record. The following year I was transferred 
to the Indiana conference. 

But I can not detail the labor which I have endured, 
and the hardships through which I have passed. In 
looking back over my life, I am humbled at a recollec- 
tion that my labor has not been in vain in the Lord. 
Had I been more holy I could have done more good. 
May the Lord keep us faithful ! 




In giving a short history of my conversion, my 
memory carries me back to scenes of my early child- 
hood, which was spent in a village on the banks of 
the Weser, in northern Germany. The beauty and 
loveliness of nature around me, attracted the atten- 
tion of my budding mind, and raised it up to nature's 
God. Many a time I watched the fish in the brook, 
the insect in the dust, and the clouds of the sky, 
studying, with childish simplicity, the wisdom of God, 
■while the field of waving grain, the peaceful herds 
in the pasture, the flower-studded meadows, the starlit 
sky, the storm-cloud with lightning and thunder, im- 
pressed my mind deeply with the conviction of His 
goodness and power. Along with nature, revelation 
went hand in hand. There was in the house a large 
family Bible, illustrated with many engravings of 
highest finish, on account of which, and out of rever- 
ence for its old age, it was seldom used, but only 
granted to the children as a particular favor. On the 
lap of a beloved grandmother I studied those pictures 
with the greatest delight, and by her instructions and 
explanations I got some knowledge of the great events 
recorded in its history before I could read. My par- 
ents being not so poor as to require my labor, gave 
me the opportunity to attend the village school regu- 


larly for about nine years; but, tbey not being able to 
give me a more liberal education, I had, from that 
time, to exchange the school for the labor of the field. 

My progress in school, as also my habits at the same 
time, are pretty well summed up in the words of the 
schoolmaster while he was laying, with all his might in 
rapid succession, a long hazelstick on my back, " I do 
not punish you for any want of learning well, but for 
your mischievousness." The hazelstick could not 
cure me though; but as my mischief was generally 
designed to amuse my school-fellows rather than to 
hurt them, I was considered by them as their favorite. 
But I had often convictions that I was doing wrong and 
displeased God, forming at the same time some faint 
resolutions to amend, being afraid of losing heaven if 
I should die. These convictions were deep and the 
resolutions strong, when I, together with a number of 
others according to the custom of the Church, openly 
before God and the congregation, renewed the baptis- 
mal vow and was confirmed; and, since my conver- 
sion, I have believed that if that congregation had 
understood the plan of salvation, and had acted in 
accordance with it, others and I would have been 
converted that day; but, in place of conversion, we 
had, according to the custom of the place, a frolic after 
Church was over, and our vows to renounce the world, 
the lust of the flesh, and the devil with all his works, 
were broken before the sun set. One good deed I 
did that day, however, in restraining some of our 
number from fighting. 

Being unconverted, without moral power, without 
experience, and without even knowing the path of 
life, we had stepped into the boat for the voyage of 


life, like a frolicking party, -without helm, oar, or 
compass ; and, being declared Christians bj the pastor 
and the people, we pushed off from the shore, and 
•were thus left to the mercy of the wind and tide. 
How these carried me I must tell now in a few words. 
The best and most pious preacher with whom I got 
acquainted in Germany — our own pastor — preached 
that dancing and the like pleasures were innocent en- 
joyments; and even the preacher himself looked on, 
while his wife and daughters were whirling round with 
the peasants, in high glee. Another one, the same 
who prepared me for confirmation, was wont, on Sun- 
day afternoon, to hasten to the ball-room, or to amuse 
the farmers, in a ninepin-alley, with tales of his univer- 
sity-life, which would have shocked any truly-pious 
heart. As whisky was considered not only a neces- 
sity of life, but a dispeller of gloom, and a generator 
of joy, and life, and happy feelings; and as, in the 
public opinion, none was accounted a brave man who 
had never been drunk ; strong drink, therefore, ac- 
companied every incident of a man's life; his birth, 
his baptism, his going to church, his mari'iage, his 
death and funeral; his joys, his sorrows, and all his 
business. By this any reader can easily judge of the 
standard of morality with Avhich I was surrounded. 
Indeed, I do not know that any transgression was 
considered, by the great majority, a serious sin 
against God, except perjury or murder; yet, it is 
due to say, honesty was considered a virtue, and 
pretty generally practiced. Among the whole mass 
of a thousand souls of my native village, there was 
but one, a poor man, who denounced the pleasures of 
this world as sin in word and actions, and who de- 


clared that, baptism being no regeneration, men must 
be born again by the Spirit in order to attain to 
heaven. Yet, as the older ones considered him a fool, 
I with the rest did the same. But, along with the 
general evil, there was some idea of piety in the com- 
munity, which consisted in a somewhat superstitious 
reverence for the house and word of God, and the 
Lord's supper, besides occasional prayer and family 
worship, and in going with the "wind and tide" only 
on special occasions. This last was about the course 
in our own family. 

Every person who had been confirmed was a com- 
municant in the Church; and, according to public 
opinion, every one was a Christian, whether he swore 
every day and prayed never — whether he went with 
the tide in full or only occasionally. The dead were 
all thought to have entered into glory, with perhaps 
the exception of the murderer and perjurer. Such 
was the state of things with which I was surrounded, 
and it was about the same throughout the kingdom; 
though I have lived in places where it was worse. A 
Church of this character would, in this country, be 
called a Universalist one, but in my country it was 
the "Lutheran." 

That it was next to impossible for me, or any one 
else under such circumstances, to go against "the 
wind and tide," can easily be imagined; but God, in 
his mercy, led me away from my native village, in my 
seventeenth year; and, though circumstances there 
were in some respects worse, yet having no acquaint- 
ance, and much work and little wages, I had not the 
same opportunity to mix with the crowd as I had at 
home. Besides this, my conviction that I was a sin- 


ner, and unfit for heaven, never left me, and was often 
so strong and clear that the pleasures of the world 
lost their charm, and life was on those occasions a 
burden. To good and evil equally prone, I had struck 
on a middle road to heaven; but there was no peace 
to mj soul. 

In this state of things I returned to my birth- 
place, after five years' absence, where I found things 
going on the usual way. Beset on all sides with 
friends and acquaintances, and urged on by my own 
relatives, it was not long till I was the leader in frol- 
icking and amusements, to a general satisfaction. 
But as my convictions rather increased than dimin- 
ished, I felt myself soon in a most miserable condi- 
tion. Sometimes the conviction that we all were on 
the vfay to hell, would strike me like lightning in the 
midst of the noise of the ball-room, so that I would, 
unconscious of myself and all that was going on around 
me, suddenly stand still; and, with fixed gaze, seem 
to see the abyss of eternal destruction opening before 
me; then, perhaps, I might be startled by a whisper 
in my ear, from one of my associates, believing that 
the cause of my trouble lay in my purse : " Ahrens, 
if you have no money I will lend you some." Such 
suspicion was to me a most unbearable reproach on 
my character, and a whisper in that direction was 
enough to arouse me; this the devil, who caused it, 
knew very well, and with hurried steps I would hasten 
to the bar, drown all my convictions in whisky, and 
run the course of a fool to the great delight of my 

Thus I passed years, from bad to worse, yet still I 
had a hope to be converted and gain heaven at last ; 


for all that I liaJ learned about conversion was, that a 
person must leave off doing wrong and learn to do 
right, and when doing so God would surely forgive all 
transgressions. In this direction I turned my efforts 
along with my ever-returning convictions of sin, ac- 
companying them with prayer and supplication. I 
scrupulously avoided doing wrong toward my fellow- 
men, and delighted in rendering them any service; 
and in going to Church I was one of the most regular 
in the whole village. 

Some old people congratulated me on my piety ; 
the pastor held my example up as an honorable one, 
and I met with none who suspected me for even a bad 
man. Indeed, it was impossible for me even once to 
entertain the thought that I was a Christian ; but, on 
the contrary, feeling myself to be the greatest sinner, 
I lived in almost constant dread of the wrath of God, 
But when I saw all my efforts at converting mj^self 
fail, my promises unfulfilled, and my most solemn 
vows broken after every renewal, my hope began to 
fail also, and I felt myself nearing the brink of de- 
spair ; a gloom was settling on my mind, which made 
the whole world around me look gloomy. Then I 
wished I had never been born, or had died in my in- 
fancy, and again I would pray God to destroy the life 
of my soul eternally ; yet knowing all those wishes to 
be in vain, I was tempted to cast off all restraint, en- 
joy the world as much and as fast as possible, and 
thus to get some compensation for my living in hell 
eternally. But the mercy of God restrained me from 
despair on one side, and from becoming " hardened in 
sin" on the other. Among the many means which 
he used were clear and sudden dangers of death ; 


one of whicli, when I was about twenty-four years 
old, I will here relate, on account of something in it 
that is a mystery to me up to this day. Having 
thrown down some feed from a hayloft above the 
thrashing-floor, when making the first step down, I 
felt the same moment that my foot had missed the 
top bar of the ladder, and that death awaited me on 
the hard floor below. As I had nothing to hold to, 
the false step carried me down the same moment ; the 
whole space of time allowed for thought was not more, 
perhaps, than three seconds ; yet in that short space 
of time there passed before my mind, not only death 
and judgment, but the outline of my whole life, like 
a brilliant flash of lightning, extending, like a ribbon 
of fire, across the whole hemisphere. How the soul 
can perform such work, I can not comprehend. 

Years before this I had entertained the thought to 
emigrate to America — no doubt, the Lord gave me 
that thought — and when my hope of ever succeeding 
in my efi"orts to live a Christian life in Germany failed, 
I hoped for the possibility of it in America. Glad 
was I Avhen circumstances allowed me, in the fall of 
1838, to set out for the "land of liberty." In Sep- 
tember I shook the parting hand with my companions 
in sin, with friends and relations, and two Aveeping 
sisters and a brother. My parents had entered the 
better world, my beloved mother having been happily 
converted on her last sick-bed, making the house echo 
with her shouts of glory. When I left my native 
place, which lay about one day's journey from the 
port of Bremen, where I took ship, my heart was 
tossed, between hope and fear, like a frail bark on the 
stormy ocean. It longed after rest, and was fully 


convinced that the world, with all its pleasures and 
riches, could not give this rest. It had a faint im- 
pression that rest was alone found in God ; but all 
the different ways I had tried failed, and the right 
and sure one I did not know. My burden was too 
heavy and the heart too full; I fell on my knees, 
lifted my heart up in prayer to the same God whom I 
had offended so long, and begged from him the for- 
giveness of my sins and a safe journey, as also to 
lead me to a communion of true Christians, promising 
to fulfill my vows in America. 

Under the shadow of his protecting wings I arrived 
safely at New Orleans, on the 6th of November, where 
I met a schoolmate and former associate in sin. 
With his help I soon got work where he was em- 
ployed ; but for serving God I found circumstances 
most unfavorable, especially as my schoolmate was 
poisoned with infidelity. But once he told me that 
at Cincinnati there was a curious sort of people. 
" They pray much ; but they do not drink, nor dance, 
nor gamble, nor swear; they are all fools," said he. 
While he uttered these words, the thought struck me, 
" That is the people I have for years longed to see," 
and at the same time I made up my mind to go and 
see them. 

Early in the morning of the 2d of May, 1839, after 
a safe passage to Cincinnati, I left the boat, and soon 
found an acquaintance from my native place, who had 
emigrated some years before me. At breakfast it was 
arranged that I should board with them ; and when 
the husband had gone to his shop, his wife soon turned 
the conversation on religious subjects. She spoke of 
the wonderful dealings of God with them in this coun- 


try, how he had shown them a better way to heaven 
than we had ever known in Germany, how happy 
they were in pursuing this way, and so on. I listened 
with astonishment, having known her course in Ger- 
many very well, and wondered greatly at the change 
of which she spoke, and which all her actions seemed 
to confirm, believing and thanking God at the same 
time, in my heart, that he had heard my prayer about 
bringing me to his people. After a while she said 
that they had left the Lutheran Church and joined a 
Church called the Methodist. A thunder-clap from a 
clear sky could not have astonished me more than 
hearing these words ; what I a few moments ago be- 
lieved to be an answer of my prayer, I now believed 
to be a punishment of God, who, for my breaking all 
my most solemn vows, had led me into the hands of 
the most dangerous enemies of Christ, in order to de- 
liver me the more surely into the hands of the devil. 
In great anxiety I hastened out of the house, taking 
my friend who had come from New Orleans with me. 
When we got into the open air I said to him, " Henry, 
we have fallen into evil hands; what shall we do?" 
*' What do you mean ?" said he. " Why, can't you 
see ? these people have denied the faith and gone over 
to Antichrist ; they belong to that strange sort of 
people which the Bible designates the ' harlot of Baby- 
lon,' with her mysterious cup of sorceries, possessing 
a supernatural power to fascinate men and deliver 
them over to the devil ; and how shall we escape such 
a power except we leave them immediately?" But 
my friend Henry told me that he did n't care any 
thing about it, neither was he at all afraid of them. 
A stranger, I wandered about the streets ; but being 

10 ^ 


unable to find a suitable boarding-place, I was com- 
pelled to return. The next day a man entered the 
house, whom my suspicious mind set down as one of 
them; I watched every word and movement, but could 
not detect any thing wrong. Just as he was about to 
leave he stepped up to me, spoke a few kind words, 
and then briefly stated, in the plainest style, that the 
sinner was saved by grace, that the greatest sinner 
could be saved, and that it was possible for every one 
to know that God had forgiven his si72S, and that he 
was an heir of heaven. If an angel had come down 
from heaven and told me the same words, I could not 
have been more convinced that this was the true Gos- 
pel than I was then, and at the same moment I 
resolved in my heart that if it was possible yet for me 
to get such assurance, I would not rest till I had it, 
let it cost what it would. He then told me how to 
read the Bible, and how to pray, and then bade me 
" good-by." This messenger of peace was the Rev. 
Peter Schmucker, German missionary of the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church. 

With this key, "saved It/ grace" I commenced to 
read the Bible, and the more I read the more I won- 
dered how I could have read and heard that a thou-^ 
sand times and not have understood it. But with the 
increase of light my sins swelled to an immeasurable 
number and size ; even what I had considered innocent 
pleasures, I saw to be great abominations before the 
Lord. Nothing pained me more than to see how I 
had trampled under foot the love and mercy of God; 
to reflect on his goodness bestowed upon me and my 
ungratefulness made my heart almost break. Gladly 
would I have given a thousand lives if I had had them 


in my possession, if with it I could have undone mj 
ungratefulness. For three months I made use of 
every public opportunity "vvhen mourners were invited 
to the altar of prayer ; but my sins, appearing to me to 
be greater than the price that was paid for them, I 
was hindered from believing and being saved. And 
if I had not received such clear witness of my ov/n 
redemption I would up to this day doubt its possi- 

Having heard of the wonders of redeeming grace 
at camp meetings, I longed for the day of its com- 
mencement, and when it arrived I hastened with 
others to attend it; but I had to lie down for the 
first night with the load of sin upon me as heavy as 
ever. Next morning, after sermon, when the mourn- 
ers were invited to come forward, my soul was tossed 
between hope and fear. Soon I found myself in a 
fearful struggle ; my sins appearing now in such fear- 
ful colors as I had never seen them before; heavier 
and heavier grew their weight upon me, and still it 
increased ; and with it the agony of my soul, for the 
light from the mercy-seat decreased in the same 
degree till the last ray of hope was gone. By this 
time my voice was gone, and my physical strength 
was leaving me also, till body and soul sank down in 
despair. Now I beheld a horrible picture. I hung 
over the brink of the unmeasurable depth of the 
bottomless pit filled with darkness, while the flames 
of hell and damnation licked my soul. I felt myself 
a condemned sinner. At the same time my heart tes- 
tified that God was perfectly good and righteous, and 
the only and last wish I had was that I might declare 
his goodness and righteousness to devils and men in 


hell. I then felt my strength revived some, but soon 
and suddenly the thought crossed my mind, you have 
been deceived by the Methodists ; they are nothing 
but seducers, and their work is to deliver souls over 
to the devil. This brought on another struggle, 
which led me to examine myself for what I was 
there — and if I ever examined myself honestly surely 
I did it then. The result of it was, "I do not 
wish any thing but the favor of God and the forgive- 
ness of my sins, if it is at all possible to get it; and, 
if he should grant it, I will be his own in body, soul, 
and all that I have for time and eternity, cost what 
it will ; if he will receive me then no tribulation, nor 
life, nor death shall separate me from him ; whatever 
he may require of me that will I do — his will shall be 
my rule, his glory the object in all my undertakings, 
and, as to the Methodists, I never have joined them, 
and I never will do it." Hereupon I had a clear wit- 
ness in my conscience that my intention Avas without 
guile, and that as long as this was the case God would 
not suffer me to fall a prey to the devil. This witnes%^ 
brought again a ray of hope that God might accept the 
offer and give me the forgiveness of my sins. Then 
the Spirit of God helped my infirmities ; by degrees I 
was enabled to behold the love of Christ to a ruined 
world, and as I felt myself to be one of the lost sin- 
ners, so I felt myself to be also an object of his love, 
and by the grace of God I was soon enabled to be- 
lieve, without a doubt, he hath loved me and has given 
himself for me. And . after my heart seemed to be 
emptied of all its wickedness a stream of life, and 
power, and glory was flowing into it — the love of 
God was shed abroad in my heart by the Holy 


Ghost — the Spirit of God bearing witness with my 
spirit that I was a child of God. With wondering 
and delight I beheld a real change in every thing that 
surrounded me. There was glory above me, and glor}^ 
beneath me, and glory around me, and glory in my 
soul. This was on the 17th of August, 1839. 

Soon after my conversion I found that I had done 
wrong in resolving never to join the Methodist 
Church ; but having solemnly promised the Lord " to 
do whatever he might require of me," and he having 
joined my heart to the Methodists in the act of my 
conversion, and showed me now plainly that it was 
my duty to connect myself with them in name, I 
did so. 

That solemn vow, " to be the Lord's forever, and to 
do whatever he might require of me," has been a 
powerful bond upon me till this day, and by it I have 
been drawn along paths which, in all probability, I 
would not have trod without it. It has caused me 
to obey the call of the Church to preach the Gospel 
as a missionary and traveling preacher of the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church ; for, though I had a " burn- 
ing after souls " from the moment of my adoption, I 
never had a special call to the ministry as I heard 
others have. When the brethren had argued away 
all my reason against that call I cast myself with 
childlike simplicity into the arms of everlasting mercy, 
praying God that if the brethren were acting con- 
trary to his will, and if I should do wrong in ac- 
cepting this call, that he, should overrule the whole to 
his own glory, not doubting that he would do it. 

My first license to preach I received on the 20th of 
October, 1841, signed by Richard Corwin and P.' 


Schmucker. In the fall of 1842 I was received on 
probation in the Kentucky conference, held in Louis- 
ville, Kentucky, and there I received my appoint- 
ment for the same place. The mission had been be- 
gun by Rev. P. Schmucker two years before, and was 
made a self-supporting station at the same confer- 
ence. Our society in Louisville, therefore, has the 
honor of being the first in the whole missionary work 
among the German population that was stricken out 
from the list of missions ; and I think it an honor to 
be the first German itinerant preacher of our Church 
who was sent out without any support from the mis- 
sionary treasury. 

Since the day of my conversion I have felt the 
conviction that next to God I owe the Methodist 
Episcopal Church a debt that I never can pay ; but 
I resolved then to labor for her welfare with all of 
my abilities. This resolution I have so far carried 
out, and I find it in my heart as fresh as ever. 

As to the fulfilling of my vows I need not say any 
thing; but since I made them the glory of God my 
Redeemer has been my chief object, and to do good 
among my fellow-men has been my chief delight, and 
my hope of everlasting life rests solely on the merits 
of my Redeemer. To him be glory notv and forever, 





I WAS born in 1815, in Kurhessen, Germany, and 
brought up according to the strict forms of the Re- 
formed Church. My parents spared no pains to give 
me good instruction; but I was a stranger to the 
grace of God, and can recollect no time, although I 
was twenty years old when I left Germany, in which 
I felt any special concern for the salvation of my soul. 
Now, removed from the house of my parents, and de • 
prived of the exhortations of my affectionate mother, 
I tore myself loose from all restraints and drank 
iniquity like water. Had it not been for the grace of 
God, I know not where my course would have ended. 
The first time my heart was affected was under a ser- 
mon from these words: "If these should hold their 
peace the stones would cry out." At the conclusion of 
the sermon I felt that I must amend my ways or be 
eternally lost. I made this known afterward to one 
of my friends; who, in a rationalistic manner, said 
" the priests always make it worse than it is ;" and 
he and others of my friends succeeded in quieting my 
fears again, and I continued for some time longer to 
live undisturbed in sin. The second time I was 
awakened to see my condition was in a tavern, where 
I and several young friends, on a Sabbath evening, 
were together drinking wine. As I stood at the bar 


and reflected upon our conduct, I came to a clear con- 
viction that we were on our way to ruin, and the more 
I thought of it the more dreadful the place appeared 
to me. The sins of my whole life appeared in dread- 
ful array before me, and the tears rolled from my 
eyes. I took one of my friends with me and went 
into a retired place, where I wept all night, and con- 
fessed my sins as if my friend were a priest. My 
friend, who knew as little of true religion as myself, 
comforted me, and said that those things of which I 
spoke were no sins at all; and in this way he 
sought to ease my heart with false comfort. If in 
that night a religious man had been with me who 
could have directed me to the Lamb of God, I might 
have been converted immediately. But, by indulg- 
ence in sin, these feelings passed away again, and I 
fell into a deep spiritual slumber, and became more 
ungodly than I had previously been. the wonder- 
ful mercy of God that kept me from falling into a 
state of final impenitence ! 

I became so impatient under restraints that I was 
no longer content to remain in America, and therefore 
resolved to go to one of the seaport cities with a view 
of making arrangements to return to Europe, where I 
had something of my inheritance coming to me. The 
greatest difficulty in my way was that I was not 
allowed to violate the Sabbath here as I had been 
accustomed to in Germany, in playing, dancing, and 

I Avent to Pittsburg to visit my uncle before starting 
to Germany, and here I engaged to work for a short 
time. About this time Mr. Nast, from Cincinnati, 
made a visit to Pittsburg and preached to the Ger- 


mans. The school-house in which he preached was 
near the house in which I worked; and, although I 
thought nothing of the Methodists, yet as the preach- 
ing was in German, I concluded to go and hear him. 
The first sermon that I heard went like a two-edged 
sword through my soul, and I again felt myself a 
great sinner. In this call I received a strong im- 
pression that this might be the last, and I went home 
with a determination to give myself to God. I now, 
for the first time, commenced praying upon my knees. 
Sleep departed from my eyes, and I spent whole nights 
in wrestling with God in prayer. When I went to the 
table to take food the impression came to me, " You 
are not worthy of it," and so I often retired from the 
table without my meal. With these feelings I con- 
tinued to visit the Church. Brother Nast circulated 
the "Articles of Faith and General Rules of the 
Methodist Church," printed in the German language, 
of which I took a copy and was thankful for it. I 
read the General Rules with great attention, and con- 
cluded if the Church kept these rules it must be a 
pious one. 

Upon the following evening, after the General Rules 
were distributed, brother Nast said, "All those who 
have read our General Rules and think they can get 
along better by uniting with us in our society can 
give us their names." I was convinced that this was 
the place for me ; but I was anxious that some one 
should lead the way, as there was then no German 
Methodist society formed there; however, as none 
went, I resolved to follow my convictions, and went 
forward and gave my name to the Church, with the 

determination fully to consecrate myself to the service 


of God, whereupon about twenty folloAved ; and this 
was the commencemeut of the Pittsburg mission. 

Notwithstanding I had now given my name to the 
Church, and saw myself as a sinner exposed to the 
wrath of God, yet I had too much pride and fear 
of man to allow me to go to the altar of prayer, 
to which invitations were given from time to time, till 
one Saturday evening, when brother Nast preached 
from the subject of Naaman's leprosy. Under this 
sermon I was so affected that I suddenly fell from the 
bench and began to cry aloud to God for mercy. My 
heart was so broken up with sorrow that I could not 
contain myself. Brother Nast and others prayed for 
me, and I became somewhat quieted, but did not find 
peace. From this time I continued to cry for mercy 
day and night for three weeks. Some of my former 
friends said that the Methodists had put a bad spirit 
into me ; others thought I was crazy, and as I was 
daily growing thinner and paler, it was generally 
thought that I would not live long. I felt my load of 
sins so heavy that I continued to cry to the Lord not 
to let me die till I had obtained peace and pardon, and 
this I continued for three weeks, till one evening at a 
prayer meeting I gave myself, as a poor lost, con- 
demned sinner, to Christ, trusting alone in his merits. 
It was then that the day of grace dawned in my heart. 
The joy that I felt I could not describe, and the evi- 
dence of my acceptance was so clear that no enemy 
could make me doubt it. 

Immediately after my conversion I felt a desire to 
do something to advance the cause of God and to lead 
sinners to the Savior. Yet I did not think of preach- 
ing, notwithstanding that I felt inwardly moved to 


lead all men to Christ. I thought that none would 
ever be allowed to preach who had not gone through 
a regular course of theological study at a university. 

I held on my way and endeavored to do all my du- 
ties, and to grow in grace and in the knowledge of 
our Lord Jesus Christ. After some time I was recom- 
mended for license to exhort, and received it from 
brother Kenney. I went to Wheeling to live, and on 
one occasion, as brother Swahlen had to be absent 
from Wheeling over Sunday, he left it with me to 
speak to the people. But as I had never spoken be- 
fore to a large assembly, I was full of fear and anx- 
iety all the week. The enemy tempted me to decline 
going, for fear of being put to shame. I, however, 
resisted the temptation, and on Sabbath morning I 
went to the Church Avith an anxious heart, and found 
some literary and professional persons there. I arose 
with trembling, and read the third chapter of the Gos- 
pel of John, and then gave out a hymn, and sung and 
prayed. After the prayer I felt such liberty and 
such a freedom of spirit that I could have stood be- 
fore princes to declare the word of God. I com- 
menced to speak, and felt the power and unction from 
on high upon me. I came to the conclusion that if 
God wished me to declare his truth he could prepare 
me for this great work, and I was determined to obey 
his call. 

After brother Swahlen had returned, he requested 
me to go some twenty miles into the country, where 
there was a number of Germans who had no preacher. 
I went, and my first visit was crowned with the conver- 
sion of five or six souls. This encouraged me, and I 
afterward visited these people every two weeks, and 



each time remained eight days with them. The effect 
was, that in four months about forty souls Avere con- 
verted. Here I was delivered from all doubts in 
reference to my call to the ministry. The quarterly 
conference gave me license to preach, and a recom- i 
mendation to the annual conference, where I was re- 
ceived ; and I thank God that he has given me living 
epistles of my ministry. I 

Note. — Brother Riemenschncider is now laboring as one of oui 
missionaries in Germany. His field of labor is Zurich, Switzerland. 
The narrative here given of his religious experience was written 
about ten years ago. 




I NEVER belonged to those who doubted the exist- 
ence of God, for the deep impressions made by the 
admonitions of my pious mother could not be entirely 
erased from my mind. I had the name of an evan- 
gelical Lutheran in Germany, for so testifies my 
certificate of baptism at least ; but I had no idea 
of true Christianity, although a New Testament, which 
had been presented to me, was my continual com- 
panion. Some time before my conversion I frequently 
read in it; but I often cast it from me, exclaiming, 
" This can not possibly be true." 

A year after my arrival in this country, and about 
the beginning of November, 1839, I came to Cincin- 
nati, where I still continued in my old habits. Every 
Sabbath day I visited some Church ; I attended 
worship sometimes in German, and sometimes in Eng- 
lish, for I understood the latter tolerably well; but 
I must confess that I usually went from Church as 
I had gone there. 

Of a German Methodist Church I had never heard. 
One evening, however, a young man, to whom I gave 
instruction in English, asked me if I would not go 
with him to the German Methodist Church, on Sab- 
bath evening, as it was a real theater — a place of 
much amusement. At first I had no especial desire 


to go ; but the follo^Ying Sabbath a number of young 
persons came to mj lodging, and urged me to go. 
Brother Breunig, at that time a local preacher, made 
his first attempt to preach or; that evening. His text 
was the parable of the prodigal son. I could find 
nothing to make sport of, excepting his singular ex- 
pressions and pronunciation, he and I being from 
different parts of Germany; and he had, of course, 
peculiar provincialisms. His preaching Avas, to me, 
a novelty, as I never had had an idea that a plain, un- 
educated man would attempt so great an undertaking. 
I would have been glad to go to prayer meeting on 
the following Thursday evening : I had an especial 
anxiety to go ; but could not find time, as I was then 
giving lessons in the evening. The following Sabbath 
evening I was one of the first in the Church, and 
took my seat not far from the pulpit. Brother Nast 
preached from, " I am not ashamed of the Gospel of 
Christ." Satan suggested to me that I should look 
right earnestly at him, to see if I could not make him 
laugh. I did so ; and instead of making him laugh, 
became myself an attentive hearer. Among other 
remarks he made the following : " There may be a 
Saul among us, whom God will convert into a Paul," 
which struck me, and went to my heart. Hitherto 
I had been immersed in the vices of the Avorld; but 
now I was brought to reflection. On the following 
Tuesday evening I went to class meeting. The union 
and love which I there found among the people, and 
the happiness which appeared impressed on every 
countenance, made me feel solitary and forsaken ; and 
I stood absorbed in reflection, till an aged sister 
asked me why I appeared so sorrowful. I could find 


no peace nor comfort at home, and felt very unhappy 
wherever I was. On the following Thursday evening 
I attended prayer meeting; but my knees refused to 
bend, till one of the brethren prayed that God 
would grant that sinners might bend their stubborn 
knees before it should be too late. 

On Friday I was invited to the house of our dear 
brother Nast : I soon obtained such confidence in him 
that I opened to him the state of my mind. He 
directed me to the Lamb of God that taketh away the 
sins of the world ; and. after he had given me a most 
kind exhortation, we bowed our knees together before 
a throne of grace, and he offered up a fervent prayer 
to God for me. After which I, for the first time, 
raised my voice in earnest prayer to God for the 
pardon of my sins. I then left brother Nast, with 
the firm resolution that henceforth I would forsake 
the Avorld, and wholly devote myself to God. At 
home, I cast myself down to pray in the name of our 
Lord Jesus Christ; but as I had pronounced this 
name, a voice within spoke to me, "Thou hypocrite, 
how canst thou pray in the name of Him on whom 
thou dost not believe?" but I did not suffer myself 
to be disturbed. It soon, however, appeared to me 
as if the room was filled with people charging me 
with hypocrisy; yet I continued, and from that mo- 
ment I could pray with confidence in the name of 
Jesus, because through his name alone we can be 

I now commenced tearing myself loose from my 
former associates; and, at the first opportunity, on 
Monday before Christmas, 1839, I joined the Church 
during love-feast. As those were called to approach 


the altar who wished an interest in the prayers of 
the pious, I did not confer with flesh and blood, and 
for eight evenings went thither. Twelve days I 
sought the Lord earnestly, and attended the watch- 
night. The new year was commenced with prayer, 
and the children of God sang the songs of Zion, and 
were filled with joy. I remained in prayer on my 
knees. I thought that my heart would break under 
the burden that lay upon me. I sighed for deliver- 
ance; and, blessed be God! not in vain. The Lord 
visited me, and I was blessed with peace and joy in 
the Holy Ghost. I rose from my knees rejoicing, 
and embraced heartily my, till then almost unknown, 
brethren, and joyfully declared that the Lord had 
delivered me. Never shall I forget that hour, neither 
here on earth nor in heaven. The Lord Jesus showed 
his mercy to a great sinner, and his grace was the 
more magnified. I had a happy New-Year's day. 
In the afternoon, however, the former friend who first 
took me to the Methodist church, came to see me; he 
mocked, and scoffed, and called me strange names. 
I sought to quiet him by giving him an account of 
my conversion; but he only became the more abusive, 
and was actually about attempting to beat me. I 
thereupon said to him, quite composedly, " If you 
had treated me so before I was converted I would 
have put you out of doors ; but now I will rather go 
myself." So I went away sadly, and I understood he 
quit my house in a rage. This circumstance made 
me dejected, and in the evening I went anew to the 
mourners' bench. Brother Nast asked me if I had 
not professed to have found the Savior? I told him 
I had, and related to him the reason of my mourning. 


He exhorted me to earnest prayer; and soon I found 
the joy which I had experienced return to my heart. 

Now a new period in my life commenced. My 
delight in the things of this world had come to an 
end ; and it was my greatest joy to be united with the 
children of God. Our dear father Schmucker at the 
time alluded to had charge of the society ; and to 
him, as well as to brother Nast, under God, I owe 
many thanks for the encouragement they gave me to 
go on in the service of the Lord. They took me by 
the hand and led me as parents lead a child when it 
first attempts to walk. I ought to remark that 
brother Nast, in my first visit to him, lent me Fletch- 
er's Appeal. This book contributed much to con- 
vince me of my lost estate ; and after my conversion 
it was of great advantage to me in my growth in 

From the first moment of my conversion I felt a 
great desire to communicate to my countrymen my 
own happiness, and the power of God, as exhibited in 
the Gospel. But I was yet weak myself. I there- 
fore sought to strengthen myself by the word of God 
and the reading of other religious books, but more espe- 
cially in the exercise of prayer. I can honestly say, 
that the first three months after my conversion were 
the happiest in my life. I did not leave my room — 
which was in the upper story of the Methodist Book 
Concern — except to attend Church. The Lord blessed 
me, and I grew in the knowledge of things divine. 
One evening brother Schmucker took me into the 
pulpit to exhort after him. I knew but little of what 
he preached, for my Avhole frame trembled, and I 
could scarcely collect myself for prayer; yet when 


he closed I arose in the name of tlic Lord, and words 
were given me to speak to the congregation. I re- 
ceived license to exhort, and commenced my labors, 
trusting in the Lord. I especially visited the work- 
men on the canal; but, alas! saw but little fruit. 
Yet I confided in my Savior, whose Spirit moved me 
to proclaim his holy Gospel. And I am convinced 
that the seed which, by the grace of God, I scattered 
in weakness at my appointments — of which I filled 
one nearly every Sabbath — has not remained entirely 
without fruit. 

In the month of March, 1841, Rev. George C. Light, 
a preacher of the Missouri conference, came to Cin- 
cinnati and talked to brother Nast about the necessity 
of sending a German missionary to St. Louis, and 
expressed the desire of the English brethren to have 
one there. Brother Nast and brother Light went to 
Bishop Morris, who was then in Cincinnati, and con- 
sulted him on this subject. And in a few days after 
the Bishop sent for me, and asked whether I was 
willing to go to St. Louis as a missionary. Up to 
this time I had preached nearly every Sunday, but my 
theological knowledge was limited. I told the Bishop 
of my deficiency in this respect, and that I was too 
feeble to take such an important charge, and there- 
fore would prefer at least to remain another year in 
my present relation. At the same time I was will- 
ing to devote myself wholly to the Lord, and would 
submit the whole matter to the judgment of my 
brethren. The Bishop encouraged me, and explained 
to me how the preachers were trained in the Meth- 
odist Church ; and told me to keep myself in readi- 
ness to start as soon as brother Nast returned from 


tlie east, during wliich time I was engaged to edit the 
Apologist. Brother Nast returned in the middle of 
July, and toward the end of the month I with my 
wife, and a little daughter five weeks old, set out in the 
name of the Lord for St. Louis, where we arrived on 
the first of August, 1841. 

Brother Wesley Browning, Avho was then stationed 
preacher there, Avith his pious and kind lady, now in 
heaven, received us with much kindness, so that we 
did not feel as strangers in a strange city. St. Louis 
was at that time a wicked place, and the Germans dis- 
tinguished themselves especially by profaning the 
Sabbath. There was one German Church there that 
had an orthodox preacher, but this was all that could 
be said ab'out it, for there was nothing known of prac- 
tical Christianity. I found in connection with the 
English Methodist Church brother Hoffman, who had 
been converted by reading "Arndt's True Chris- 
tianity ;" but he was not acquainted with the English 
language sufiiciently to be instructed in religion by 
the preaching. Our joy was great to find one with 
whom we could converse in our own tongue about 
the love of God, and one too Avho understood the lan- 
guage of Canaan well. I sought as soon as possible 
to arrange my household affairs, which I accom- 
plished in two days. Then I rented a small church 
from the Presbyterians. 

Brother Hoffman and 1 went through the city with 
tracts, and invited the people to come to our meeting. 
The following Sabbath morning, after I had committed 
the Avhole work in earnest prayer to God, we went to 
the church. It was ten o'clock, and no one there yet, 
and our service was aj^pointed to commence at half- 


past ten o'clock. My wife remarked, sadly, "You 
■will have to preach to us and to the empty benches 
to-day." With that I commenced to ring the bell 
of our chapel, and gradually the people came in till 
the house was full. The Lord gave me grace to 
declare his word; and, after I had invited them earn- 
estly to come again in the evening, we went home 
joyfully, thanking God for his goodness. In the 
evening the house was not only filled with attentive 
hearers, but the whole yard around the church was 
filled with people. I gave out a meeting for singing, a 
prayer meeting, and an appointment to preach for the 
following week. The people came, and I labored on 
joyfully. I soon became acquainted with another 
German family residing eight miles from the city, 
who also belonged to the English Church, and I 
preached once a week at their house. 

In the mean time I commenced to preach in the 
market-house on Sunday afternoon, in the south part 
of the city. The German paper warned me not to do 
this, or means would be sought to prevent me. Yet 
I proceeded in the name of the Lord to declare his 
word. On the following Sabbath a large congrega- 
tion was assembled, and after I had mounted the 
butcher's block, and was just commencing my ser- 
mon, I was violently pushed down, and some had 
commenced to strike me, and to talk against me. I 
sought to quiet them, but all to no purpose. What 
would have been the result I know not, but the Lord 
sent me a deliverer. An American took me by the 
collar of my coat and led me out through the enraged 
German crowd, and brought me to the house of an 
English brother. The police took the matter in hand, 




and two of the ringleaders were fined. At the same 
time some of my hearers sought to disturb me in the 

I adopted measures to control these disturbers of 
the peace and to keep them in order. I applied to 
the Mayor to send some of the watchmen to my as- 
sistance, which he willingly did. I would remark 
here, that one of these watchmen, who was a Ger- 
man, was converted to God in the following year. 

In September I went to the conference, where I 
was ordained deacon. During my absence my wife 
kept up the prayer meetings. This year brother 
John Swahlen was sent to Pinkney mission, Mis- 
souri, and brother John Hartman to Belleville, Illinois. 
When I returned from the conference I continued to 
preach and hold prayer meetings, and soon a number 
became awakened, and commenced regarding them- 
selves as members of my charge, notwithstanding I 
had not called on any of them to join our Church, 
and I did not wish to invite them to join till they had 
experienced conversion, for the people were very ig- 
norant in reference to every thing concerning vital 
godliness. I addressed a letter to father Schmucker, 
and asked his advice what to do, that the people might 
become converted. " Continue to preach, to exhort, 
and to pray," was the answer. 

There was a woman who had much influence among 
the Germans, and constantly visited my meetings ; 
went about among the people, and told them that 
what I preached was the truth, but told those who 
were awakened that they must not become Meth- 

This induced me, on the 22d of November, 1841, 


for the first time, to give an invitation to join the 
Church, and twenty-two persons united Avith the 
Church, after I had read the General Rules. On 
the following Monday there came an old woman, one 
of my members, to my house, and complained that her 
burden was more than she could bear. My wife and 
I prayed earnestly with her, and she soon obtained 
peace and went home. On her way she was filled 
with the joys of salvation, and hastened to the house 
to tell her husband what it was to have the pardon of 
sins. He was deeply awakened by this, and com- 
menced earnestly to seek God, and soon found the 
Savior, and went on his way rejoicing. Our aged 
mother Klotts, the first-fruit of my labors, has ex- 
changed earth for heaven. 

I will here relate another occurrence. A woman 
came to our house and requested us to pray for her ; 
we prayed earnestly for her. She went home in a 
rage, and told her husband that we had prayed for her 
as if she had been a thief or a murderer. They both 
withdrew, and became worse than ever. Now my 
members became, one after another, converted to 
God — some in their houses, some at their daily em- 
ployment, and others at prayer meetings and under 
preaching. The small society was united in love, and 
my soul praised the Lord. How gracious was the 
Lord to me at that time ! I was accustomed to study 
my sermons on my knees, which custom I have kept 
up ever since. 

Notwithstanding my want of experience, the Lord 
helped me, so that I seldom preached without feeling 
the power of the Lord upon me. I had in those 
times no very severe temptations^ yet the old Adam 


sometimes sought to gain a victory. Still, I lived in 
close communion "with my Savior. When I went out 
into the city I took a text with me, on which I fixed 
my mind, and this kept my thoughts from wandering. 
I distributed many tracts and Testaments and Bibles, 
with Avhich I was abundantly supplied by the Tract 
Society. What often grieved me was the opposition 
I met with from my unconverted countrymen, to 
which the newspapers contributed not a little. When 
I passed by them they applied all kinds of opprobri- 
ous epithets to me, and sometimes threw dirt at me, 
but I rejoiced in the approbation of my Savior. On 
Christmas, 1841, we held our first quarterly meeting. 
I expected help from my brethren in the ministry, but 
they had to attend to their own work at this time. 
But the Lord helped me, and I preached, notwith- 
standing my poor health, fourteen times in nine days. 
The sacrament and love-feast was a time of refresh- 
ing from the presence of the Lord. Many sinners 
were awakened and converted in this memorable time. 
My labors in the country were also not without fruit, 
for there were a few souls converted there, and among 
them three who had previously belonged to the Papist 

On the 18th of March we had our first quarterly 
conference ; Wesley Browning was presiding elder. 
It was resolved to build a church. We then had forty 
members. We procured a very suitable lot, 52 by 
110 feet, which was then worth $1,400, for which we 
had to pay $500, payable in ten years. Brother 
Hartman visited us occasionally with some of his 
members from the Belleville mission. Now came a 
hard time for me ; the money had to be collected. I 


received only small sums, and the building was con- 
tracted for at $1,200. But the Lord helped, and 
money was on hand in due time. After we had laid 
the corner-stone, some of the wicked Germans got a 
bottle of whisky and poured on it, and in this way 
sought to make sport of us. But one of these, in 
the following year, was converted to God. The build- 
ing went on rapidly, and on the 7th of August I had 
the pleasure of dedicating the church to the service 
of the Most High. How happy did I feel then, in a 
brick church 32 feet wide by 50 long, with a small 
bell ! Our Sabbath school marched, at the ringing of 
the bell, from the old church to the new one. And 
this was now filled, for it was something strange that 
the despised Methodists, of whom it had been prophe- 
sied that they would soon come to an end, now had a 
church of their own. I must mention that our Eng- 
lish brother, Nathaniel Childs, helped us very much 
in the building of this church. The Lord remember 
him, and all who helped us, and bless them ! 

Note. — Brother Jacoby was the first missionary sent by the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church to Germany. He is now superintendent of 
these missions. 

C. H. DOERING. 137 



I WAS born on the 27th of August, in 1811, in 
Springe, a small town near the city of Hanover, king- 
dom of Hanover, Germany; and, in my youth, had 
every opportunity to obtain a liberal education, and 
become a good scholar; but I contracted a passion 
for reading novels and other light and pernicious 
books. The reading of these not only diminished my 
zeal for study, but also greatly vitiated my morals. 

I was often under the influence of serious impres- 
sions, but more especially at the time of my confirma- 
tion, which generally takes place in the fourteenth 
year. At this time the baptismal vow is renewed, and 
the sacrament of the Lord's supper is received, and 
the participants are considered members of the 
Church. This is the usage of the Lutheran Church, 
in which I was brought up. I have no doubt, if I had 
had at that time a true spiritual guide to lead me to 
the feet of Jesus, I would have remembered my 
Creator in the days of my youth, and would have 
given my heart to the Savior, and experienced his 
renewing grace. I received religious instruction from 
my eighth to my fourteenth year, in the school, but I 
do not recollect that ever the necessity of regenera- 
tion, and the mode of obtaining it, was explained to 
us. Although the Lutheran Church in that part of 



the country had the form of godliness, the power 
thereof I never saw manifested in it. There may 
be, however, many individual cases of true piety which 
never came under my personal observation. Pamily 
devotion and social prayer meetings I never met with 
nor heard of. The whole of our religious worship Avas 
performed on the Sabbath, and this only during a few 
hours. The greatest part of the day was spent in pub- 
lic amusements, playing cards, dancing, visiting thea- 
ters, etc.; and these amusements were participated in 
even by our clergymen. 

Being from childhood somewhat religiously inclined, 
I had some idea of devoting myself to the ministry, 
which in our country is chosen either by the child or 
parent like any other occupation, without any regard 
to a divine call from the Head of the Church ; but, 
being without the means to go through the required 
collegiate and theological course, which extends from 
six to eight years and sometimes longer, I entered 
upon mercantile pursuits. I was apprenticed for five 
years, and during this time, in comparison with many 
other young men in my situation, was leading a re- 
tired and outwardly moral life, though my former 
serious impressions had vanished away. Having fin- 
ished my apprenticeship, I served as clerk one year 
in Bremen and three years in Gottingen. During the 
period of nearly ten years I did not visit the house of 
God more than a few dozen times, and only once par- 
took of the holy sacrament. To the best of my rec- 
ollection during this time I did not once open my 
Bible, deeming it sufficient to have it among my books. 
In my twenty-second or twenty-third year I was much 
given to despondency, and was often tempted to self- 

C- H, DOEEING. 139 

destruction, but never a single thought entered my 
mind with regard to my future fate. How, in the 
easiest way, to get rid of my life, -which was a burden 
to me, was all that occupied my thoughts on this sub- 
ject. This state of mind was chiefly produced by 
looking too far into the future, and always meditating 
how to get through the world, having no means 
myself. But the mercy of God spared me, not per- 
mitting Satan to tempt me farther, but only to sug- 
gest these wicked thoughts. It is now with deep re- 
gret and mortification that I look back upon the years 
of my youth, but they are gone forever. 

During my stay in Bremen I heard a great deal 
about the United States of America, and of many 
who had gone there ; this created a like desire within 
me ; and, in order to prepare myself for such an 
event, I began to study the English language, which 
study I pursued for several years. My desire to em- 
igrate to this country became stronger and stronger. 
I communicated it to my mother, but could not obtain 
her consent. Others of my friends dissuaded me 
from taking such a step, especially my former teacher; 
and among the reasons which he advanced was this, 
that there was not the least spark of religion in 
America — the people caring for nothing except to 
make money. But all efforts to deter me from my 
purpose were vain ; I was determined to go — to leave 
home, friends, all, for an unknown land. I left an 
aged mother, she not knowing my real design; and, 
after a long but prosperous voyage of fifty-one days, 
I arrived, in the middle of September, 1836, at the 
city of Baltimore. Here I met with some acquaint- 
ances from the old country, with whom I staid about 


a week, looking for employment, but I found none 
wliich suited me. During my stay one of my ac- 
quaintances wanted to show me a great curiosity, and 
this was a colored Methodist meeting. I went, but 
hearing a dreadful noise in the house, I was afraid to 
venture in, and stood before the door and wondered 
at this strange phenomenon, that was strange to mc 
at that time. From Baltimore I went to Wheeling, 
Virginia, intending from thence to go to Dayton, 
Ohio, where I was recommended to a young man en- 
gaged in mercantile business. 

On my arrival in Wheeling I was met by a country- 
woman of mine, who persuaded me to stay there. Af- 
ter a few days I found employment as clerk in a dry 
goods store, with an English brother, James M. 
Wheat, a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
who treated me very kindly, although an entire 
stranger to him. Having my boarding in his own 
family, I was invited to attend family worship. He 
read, sung, and then they kneeled down for prayer. 
This was all new to me; I never before had witnessed 
a family worship. Their kneeling down was against 
my feelings. I hesitated a few moments, not know- 
ing what to do, whether to kneel down with them 
or not ; but reflecting that it could do me no harm I 
kneeled down and continued to do so afterward. A 
few days subsequently, when I was unpacking my 
books, my employer perceived a Bible among them ; 
he expressed his gratification to see it, having thought 
that I, perhaps, belonged to the Roman Catholic 
Church ; at this I was highly offended, and asked him 
whether he thought I was a heathen, in supposing I 
had no Bible. However, I was one in reality, having 

C. H. DOERING. 141 

only the name of a Christian, since I had not read my 
Bible, as remarked before, for the space of at least 
ten years, although carrying it constantly with me. 
I relied upon this, upon my baptism, my confirma- 
tion, and the leading of an outward moral life for my 

For the purpose of improving my knowledge of 
the English I began to visit the English Methodist 
Church, which was at that time under the pastoral 
charge of Rev. Wesley Browning. Through the in- 
fluence of the Holy Spirit my eyes were gradually 
opened. I began to feel my sins, to become aware 
of my lost condition, and made the determination to 
begin to seek the Lord. Invitations for penitents to 
kneel at the mourners' bench were given from time 
to time, but this was again entirely new to me, and 
at first I did not know what to make of it. I 
felt, however, that this was the very place to which 
I should go. Shame and fear for a long time kept 
me from taking this decisive step, and I put it ofi" 
from day to day. By the help of the Lord I soon 
began to perceive the stratagem of the enemy of my 
soul; and I felt that in this way, by putting it off, 
I never would be reconciled to God. At length, with 
a broken heart and a trembling step, I hastened to 
the altar of prayer to seek the Lord. Divine light 
from on high broke in upon me ; I began earnestly to 
pray, and the pardoning love of God began to fill my 
bosom. I felt thankful to the Lord for what he had 
done for me. I now saw his wise purpose in guiding 
my wandering feet to this country to save my soul 
from eternal destruction. 

A love for the souls of my fellow-men now entered 


my bosom ; with compassion I looked upon the thou- 
sands of my countrymen who were in the same con- 
dition as myself. The desire^to devote myself to the 
service of the Lord took hold upon me, and it became 
stronger and stronger. But thinking myself incom- 
petent for such a work, I thought it best, as a pre- 
paratory step for entering the vineyard of the Lord, 
to obtain a further collegiate education. About this 
time, 1838, there was only one German mission, and 
this in Cincinnati, and no German Methodists yet 
in Wheeling ; but I had heard of brother Nast and 
of the intended project to edit a German paper. To 
him I wrote, introducing myself to his acquaintance, 
and informing him at the same time of my intention. 
I was recommended by brother Browning, from whom 
and his sainted companion I received all kindness, 
to Alleghany College, Meadville, to Avhich I proceeded, 
and where I remained in the pursuit of my studies 
three years and a half. During this time the Ger- 
man missions began rapidly to spread, and I received 
several times very urgent letters from brother Nast 
to enter the active work; but, counseled by my friends 
and Bishop Soule, who Avas at that time on a visit in 
Meadville, I continued till I had finished my course. 
In the year 1840 I received license as exhorter ; 
and in the last year of my stay in the College, I 
began to preach to the Germans in Meadville and its 
vicinity before large and attentive congregations. 
This was to me a great assistance as a preparation to 
enter the active work in the ministry. To the Presi- 
dent of the College at that time. Rev. H. J. Clark, 
and the other professors connected with it, I shall feel 
myself always under the greatest obligations for their 

C. H. DOERING. 143 

kindness and Christian fellowship manifested toward 
me. The time spent there was one of the most 
pleasant portions of my life, and I hope it was not 
unprofitablj spent. 

In the year 1841 I was received on trial in the 
Pittsburg conference, and by Bishop Roberts imme- 
diately transferred to New York conference, to begin 
the mission in the city of New York among the Ger- 
mans. A small band of eight brethren and sisters 
converted in the English Churches cast in their lot 
with me, and we began in the fear of our God our 
labors among our countrymen. We met with many 
obstacles and discouragements, had to contend with 
prejudices, superstition, and infidelity every-where; 
but in answer to our prayers, by the help of God, our 
prospects became brighter, and our little frame meet- 
ing-house was soon filled with attentive hearers, souls 
were awakened and converted to God, and in the 
course of six months about fifty-seven joined our 
mission, of whom many were converted to God. At 
the end of this period brother Lyon, who had before 
labored among the English, came to our help and 
took charge of the mission. The want of a church 
was now greatly felt, and after much inquiry and 
labor we obtained a suitable lot in Second-street, on 
which the present church is built. 

Having labored sixteen months in the city of New 
York, I was transferred again by Bishop Waugh to 
Pittsburg conference, to take charge of the German 
mission in Pittsburg, which was without a pastor. 
Owing to different circumstances this mission was 
brought near the verge of ruin, and the members 
thereof about to scatter. But they Avcre gathered 


again, ar.d we had a precious revival the first winter. 
Here, also, a house of worship was needed, and in 
the year 1844 one was built. By Bishop Soule I was 
ordained deacon in the year 1843, at the conference 
held in Elizabethtown, Virginia. I labored from Jan- 
uary, 1843, to September, 1844, in this mission, was 
then again transferred to the Ohio conference, ordain- 
ed in September, 1844, an elder by Bishop Waugh, 
and by him appointed presiding elder to take charge 
of the Pittsburg German Mission district, which 
embraced Pittsburg, Wheeling, Captina, Marietta, 
Chester, Defiance, Canal Dover, and North Ohio. The 
amount of traveling on this district was about four 
thousand miles a year. Other missions were the next 
year added to it, and it extended from Pittsburg down 
to Maysville, Kentucky, including nine appointments. 
On this district I labored four years, and during this 
time many souls in our quarterly meetings were con- 
verted to God. Although years of toil and nearly 
constant traveling, being separated from family and 
home months at a time, they were happy years to me. 
At the present time I feel yet an earnest desire to 
devote myself to the service of my God, and to labor 
for the welfare of my countrymen, of whom hundreds 
and thousands of them are yearly emigrating to 
America. In looking back upon the beginning of 
the German work, and viewing its present extent, I 
have to exclaim, " The Lord has done great things for 
us." But viewing the large field spread before us, 
and much of it already white for the harvest, casting 
my eyes beyond the deep ocean where lies our native 
home, and where now also the blossoms of civil and 
religious liberty are beginning to bud, I can but think 

C. n. DOE RING. 145 

what the Lord has already done for us is only the 
beginning of a work still greater. May the Lord 
keep us, his unworthy servants, who are now engaged 
in this glorious cause, faithful for this our holy call- 
ing ! Amen. 

Note. — Brother Doering has hecn laboring as a missionary of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church in Germany for a number of years past. 
He occupies a very important position, and is exerting a favorable 
influence in spreading Scriptural holiness over the father-land. The 
above sketch of his experience was written ten years ago, previous 
to his going to Europe. 





I WAS born in Menzenlieim, at Wuertzburg, in the 
kingdom of Bavaria, Germany. My parents belonged 
to the Lutheran Church. I was consequently brought 
up and instructed in all the religious ceremonies and 
usages of this Church ; and besides my regular school 
instruction, my parents took some pains to advance 
me in some other branches of science. As I had a 
great fondness for books, it was the wish of my 
mother that I should become a student — that is, go 
through the regular course at a university. But as 
my father could not well spare me, and also lacked 
the means to support me as a student, after my con- 
firmation I went to work with my father at his busi- 
ness, which was farming and oil-pressing. Religious 
impressions were strong on my mind in my youth, to 
which my mother contributed much. She led a pious 
life, and often admonished me and prayed with me. 
I was taught to respect and highly to esteem the min- 
isters, especially in view of their power to absolve 
and to bind, and, as the representatives of Christ, to 
forgive sins. These doctrines I was taught in a Lu- 
theran catechism. Furthermore, I was taught to be- 
lieve that baptism was regeneration; but that, as I 
had not kept my baptismal vow from my childhood, I 
must renew this vow at my confirmation. The 


preacher laid his hands upon my head — according 
to custom in confirmation — and then, for the first 
time, I received the true body and blood of Christ in 
the sacrament — as many Lutherans in Germany still 
hold these views — as the seal that I was now a true 

As I then heard nothing of the new birth and a 
change of heart and life, I, alas ! with others, stood 
still at the outward form of religion, and continued to 
live as much in sin as before, and even more so, be- 
cause I frequently saw our preacher, in company with 
others on Sabbath afternoon, sitting by his glass of 
wine regaling himself, and enjoying the pleasures of 
this life. 

I had a great desire for books, and took delight in 
reading. I read much in my Bible, through which I 
was more and more convinced, that in the condition 
in which I then was, notwithstanding my confirmation 
and absolution, I was not prepared for heaven. This 
brought me to deep reflection, and caused me to doubt 
the truth of the doctrine of our Church in reference 
to the new birth, baptism, absolution, etc. Finally, I 
came to the conclusion that either something more 
must be wrought in us, that we might be better 
enabled to walk in the way of God's commandments, 
or that the largest portion of those with whom I was 
acquainted could not be saved. For in the Bible I 
had read, " To be carnally-minded is death," and, 
" He that is born of God doth not commit sin ;" and 
again, I saw by reading Galatians v, 19-21, that the 
class of persons here described were expressly ex- 
cluded from the kingdom of heaven. But many of 
these sins were indulged in by preachers and people. 


And now the solemn question would often force itself 
upon me, Will God fulfill his threatenings and cast 
off all those who continually violate his law? I did 
not know that we might be delivered from sin, and, by 
believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, might, through 
divine grace, be enabled to walk in the way of his 
commandments. Alas! I had no one to teach me 
these doctrines. I Avas tempted to view our heavenly 
Father as a hard master, "reaping where he had not 
sown, and gathering where he had not strewed." 
Such doubts so possessed my mind that, finally, I was 
filled with enmity against all religion, and regarded 
the Bible as the invention of priests and kings, Avho 
agreed together to oppress the poor that they might 
live in pleasure. 

In 1834 my parents, to my great joy, emigrated to 
this land of liberty, and settled in Hamilton, Butler 
county, Ohio, where my mother, who appeared to 
take great pleasure in the discharge of her religious 
duties, died — as I trust — in the Lord. Her death 
again made some impression upon my mind, especially 
as, only a short time before her departure, she earn- 
estly exhorted me to read my Bible diligently, and to 
put my confidence in God ; and with her last breath 
she prayed for her children. From the time of her 
death my mind was often disturbed, and the thought 
of what should become of me if the Bible were true 
often made me tremble. I strove to get rid of this 
impression, by spending what time I could spare from 
my regular employment in reading such books as said 
nothing about religion. But still the question would 
force itself upon me. How will it be should the Bible 
after all prove to be true ? and the solemn response 

G. L. MUL FINGER. 149 

came every time, " Then you will be lost forever." 
These thoughts brought such a gloom upon my mind 
that I often Avished I had never been born. After I 
had lived some time in Cincinnati, Ohio, I went to 
La-\vrenccburg, Indiana. In the years 1837 and '38, 
my mind became so gloomy that I lost all relish for 
society and took no interest in the pleasures of youth, 
and I was regarded by many as singular. My dis- 
tress of mind was so great that I often thought of 
laying violent hands upon myself. 

I had often heard of the writings of Voltaire and 
Paine, and expected much from these writers in ref- 
erence to their arguments against the Bible. In the 
year 1838 I found an opportunity to read these 
works. But to my great astonishment, instead of find- 
ing solid arguments against the Bible, I only found 
nothing but scurrilous wit. Instead of finding in the 
place of the demolished altars of the religion of the Bi- 
ble a beautiful structure of reason and virtue, I found 
nothing but gloom and solitude; instead of solid 
arguments to overthrow the truths of the Bible, I 
found vain mockings, and saw that a blind hatred 
against the truth was the main-spring of these writers, 
and that they had not even themselves studied the 
Bible. I cast away these works with great disgust; 
for, instead of being confirmed in my unbelief, as I 
had expected, I was only the more convinced that 
the Bible was true. The fabric of my skepticism was 
shaken to the very foundation, and I felt myself in- 
expressibly miserable, so that I often spent whole 
nights without sleeping, and in these melancholy 
moods would think of the happy days of my child- 
hood, when by the side of my devoted mother I was 


taught to offer my prayers to God. But from me I 
thought all these pleasures had forever fled. I 
turned my attention to the Scriptures again, but 
could find nothing but a sentence of condemnation 
against me. I did not venture to acquaint any one 
■with my condition, for three reasons : first, because I 
was naturally diffident; secondly, I feared I should 
be laughed at by my friends ; and, thirdly, I did not 
know any one who I thought would understand my 
condition. Yet I longed to find some one to whom 
I might open my heart and who might advise and 
comfort me. Several times I endeavored to pray, 
but the enemy would always tell me, " God will not 
hear you; it is vain for you to pray; thou hast denied 
the Bible and committed the sin against the Holy 
Ghost. Christ did not die for you." In this way 
I spent a whole year, till God in mercy sent brother 
Nast and brother Adam Miller to Lawrenceburg, in 
the year 1839, in order there to preach to the neg- 
lected Germans the Gospel of Christ. They preached 
in town every two weeks, and proclaimed the joyful 
tidings that Christ came to save all who would come 
unto him without exception. For some time at first 
I was prevented from attending the preaching, partly 
on account of my business and partly from my preju- 
dice against the name of Methodist. After some 
time, through the influence of my brother, at whose 
house brother Nast and brother Miller frequently 
staid, I was induced to attend the preaching. 1 
first heard brother Nast, and was convinced under 
the first sermon that he preached the truth as I had 
never heard before. On this occasion he gave an 
invitation to join the Church, and I joined with a 


full determination that if there was yet mercy for 
such a poor sinner as I was, to seek, by the grace of 
God, till I found it. I began to take courage and to 
pray for the pardon of my sins, which appeared to lie 
like mountains upon me. I endeavored to make my- 
self better, but to my astonishment the disquietude 
of my heart increased, while the enemy of my soul 
constantly whispered to me, "You have committed 
the sin against the Holy Ghost. You have doubted 
God's word; there is no mercy for you." 

About this time I left Lawrenceburg and moved to 
Oxford, Butler county, Ohio, with my wife, who, with 
me, had joined the Church. Here I attended the 
English Methodist Church regularly, but my diffi- 
dence prevented me from attending the class meet- 
ings and prayer meetings as it was my duty to do. 
The natural consequence was that I grew somewhat 
cold in my desires for salvation. 

In 1840 a general revival of religion broke out in 
Oxford. In several weeks many souls were brought 
into the liberty of the children of God. I and my 
wife went regularly to the altar of prayer, but did 
not find the pearl of great price, and toward the close 
of the meeting my old temptations returned, espe- 
cially as one evening while I was kneeling at the 
altar for prayer, an old brother said to me that he 
believed I must be a great sinner, because nearly 
all the seekers had found peace and I was still un- 
converted. "You have thought correctly," said I to 
myself; " I am the greatest of all sinners, and it is 
vain for me to grieve my God any longer by remain- 
ing here." I arose and went home sorrowful; and 
that night my disquietude did not allow me to sleep 


any. I feared every moment that I might sink into 
perdition. Yet I derived some comfort in the re- 
flection that God delighteth not in the death of the 
sinner. I commenced anew to sigh and pray, and 
formed the resolution not to give up, but to wrestle 
like Jacob; and if the Lord condemned me I would 
go to despair praying, and in hell I would ac- 
knowledge his righteous judgment. That night I 
prayed till the morning of the following day. It 
was the second of March, 1840, I went into my 
upper room and fell on my knees before the Lord, 
with the firm determination not to let him go till he 
blessed me. When I had remained about two hours 
on my knees the Lord heard my prayer. I could 
look up by an eye of faith and see how the blood 
of Jesus was shed for me. By faith I could hear him 
say, "Thy sins are forgiven thee; go in peace, and sin 
no more." My load of sin was gone, and the op- 
pressive mountain had been cast by faith " into the 
sea." Inexpressible joy filled my enraptured soul; 
all nature seemed to wear a lovely aspect; the trees 
of the woods seemed to clap their hands for joy. I 
sunk into the dust and cried with grateful emotions, 
" Abba, Father." Blessed be God that he willeth not 
the death of the sinner, but that he return and live. 
Blessed be God that he has given us this free coun- 
try, in which men are allowed to proclaim his holy 
Gospel in its purity, which delivers the sinner from 
his spiritual bondage. And blessed be God that he 
has called the Methodist Church into existence, and 
that he has put it into the heart of our American 
brethren to preach to the poor rationalistic, unbelieving 
Germans the Gospel of peace. May the Lord bless 


our Methodist brethren for their love to the Germans 
in time, and reward them in eternity ! And may he 
yet long let the Methodist Church labor, and stand as 
a city on a hill and as a light in the world, till the last 
sinner is brought to Christ ! 

Most remarkable did the holy Scripture appear 
after my conversion. When I opened the Bible it 
appeared very strange, that whereas before my con- 
version all seemed to condemn me, now all appeared 
to have changed into precious promises; and so it 
was, for faith in the atoning blood of Christ had 
changed all into blessings. The word of God was now 
" a lamp to my feet and a light to my path," Much 
that appeared dark before now appeared clear, and I 
was astonished at my former darkness. As I had 
now become a partaker of the liberty of the children 
of God, so I also wished that my countrymen might 
become partakers of the same blessings; but as there 
were no Germans in Oxford I moved to Lawrenceburg 
again, where a society had been formed, to which my 
father, brother, and sisters, and, in a Avord, all my 
relations belonged. These, with my beloved compan- 
ion, were soon all converted to God. 

I felt at this time a great desire to labor for the 
cause of God, and to exhort my fellow-men, and the 
Lord often blessed me in the attempt; however, my 
natural diffidence soon gained the mastery over me 
again. The temptation came that it was pride in me 
to think that God had called such an unworthy and 
ignorant being to labor in his vineyard; and, on this 
ground, when brother Kisling, in the year 1841, offered 
me ■ license to exhort, I refused to take it. I soon 
felt that the divine presence was in a measure with- 


drawn from me. Temptations grew stronger, and my 
delight in the Lord decreased, so that I soon found my- 
self in a very barren state in spiritual things. The next 
year I discovered my error, and promised the Lord to 
obey his call if the door were opened for me. In the 
fall brother Breunig, preacher in charge, appointed me 
class-leader. I had many happy hours in this class, 
which I led two years and a half. At the close of 
the year 1843 the brethren requested me again to 
take the office of an exhorter. I received it as from 
the hand of God, with firm trust that he would sus- 
tain me. But here the enemy attacked me on my 
weak side again. My diffidence to stand up in public 
and to speak was in my way, and every time I ex- 
pected to be called on to stand up and exhort, the 
enemy tempted me so that my whole body began to 
tremble, and I was often led to think that God would 
not sustain such an unworthy being as I was ; but he 
has always supported me, and given me liberty to 
speak when I arose in his name to declare his Avord. 
I prayed the Lord to take these temptations from me, 
and he has heard my prayer and enabled me to rise 
above them. 

In the summer of 1844, after having passed through 
the usual examination, I was licensed to preach the 
Gospel. In view of the scarcity of German preachers, 
the quarterly conference recommended me to the 
traveling connection, but to me there appeared some 
insurmountable difficulties in the way. There was, 
first, my want of experience and qualification for the 
work. Secondly, my business was such that I could 
not give it up without great sacrifice to my family; 
and, withal, my wife was not willing to leave her home 


and friends, and I thought too that I might be useful 
Avhere I was as a local preacher. I prayed to the Lord 
for direction, and promised to follow the openings of 
his providence. In this the Lord heard my prayer, 
and soon two brethren came, of their own accord, and 
purchased my property, and this left me means to 
provide a home for my family, in case I should be 
taken away, or fail in the work from want of health. 
Accordingly my recommendation was taken to the 
Ohio conference; and, in the year 1845, I was sent 
to Fort Wayne, Indiana, to labor there as German 
missionary. This was a new field, and contained 
many enemies of Methodism. Fort Wayne is the 
principal seat of the Puseyite Lutheran Church. 
When I first came here not one of my German coun- 
trymen bade me welcome. Catholics, Lutherans, and 
Romish priests warned their people against me as a 
deceiver. I was alone and inexperienced, and a 
"large valley of dry bones" lay before me. Yet I 
thanked God in knowing that he was with me. I 
commenced to preach and to visit the people in their 
houses, and prayed with them ; and, at the end of the 
year, I had a society of some thirty members, who 
were earnestly seeking to work out their salvation. 
A neat brick church was built, which cost twelve 
hundred dollars, of which eight hundred were paid. 
The next year I was returned to this field. This was 
a year of great trials to me ; I was sick of the fever 
eight months ; my family was also sick ; yet my labor 
appeared not to be in vain. Several more were con- 
verted, and the members grew in grace, and were en- 
gaged in working out their salvation. The balance 
of our church debt, with the exception of two hun- 


dred dollars, Tvas paid. Yet, after all, it was a year 
of great affliction to me and mine. At our last con- 
ference, at Columbus, I was sent to Laughery mission, 
which is a two weeks' circuit, with thirteen appoint- 
ments, and about one hundred and fifty miles round. 
Notwithstanding the labor is hard, and the roads are 
bad, yet, so far, this has been the happiest year of 
my life. Souls are being awakened from their slum- 
bers, and since conference I have received some 
twenty into our society. There are three Roman 
Catholic priests within the bounds of this mission to 
oppose us. Yet we are constantly gaining ground. 
The Lord is with us — may he ever remain with us ! 
My motto is onward; and my soul thirsts for the per- 
fect love of God, of which, by times, I have a strong 
foretaste. "While I live, if the Church has any thing 
for me to do, I expect to spend all my powers of soul 
and body in the service of my God and the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, and shall never forget that she was 
the means of my conversion and the conversion of my 
friends and relations ; and, while I have breath, I shall 
not cease to labor and pray for her. And from 
heaven I expect to look down and rejoice over the 
conversions of generations yet unborn, through her 

Note. — The above was written by brother Mulfinger ten years ago. 
He has labored faithfully ever since ; a good part of the time as 
presiding elder, and he is now, 1859, presiding elder of the Burling- 
ton district, Rock River conference. 

H. KOENEKE. ' * •'157 



I WAS born in Germany, in the kingdom of Hano- 
ver, May 28, 1800. My father died in the prime of 
life, leaving my mother with five children, of which I 
was the oldest, being nine years of age, and my 
brother Charles, now German missionary in Illinois, 
was the youngest, being eleven months old. My 
mother was a widow twenty years, and endeavored to 
train us up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. 
The impressions that were made on my youthful mind 
often followed me in my course of sin. In the year 
1824 I was married; but at this time I was in a sad 
condition. I had given myself to drinking and gam- 
bling ; yet, for the sake of making a living, I fully 
resolved that, as I had taken a wife, I would break 
ofi" from all these vices. But, alas ! I had soon to 
learn that I was no longer master of myself, and that 
these contracted habits held a control over me. 

What I now learned by experience, I could not 
previously have believed ; for it was a favorite maxim 
with me, that man was able to govern himself. 
With my strongest resolutions, however, I was not 
able to resist sin. I often saw clearly that, unless a 
change took place, I should not only plunge myself 
into an untimely grave, but leave my wife and 
children in a most sorrowful condition. I did not like 



to think of death and eternity, for these thoughts 
usually disturbed my mind. In this vacillating con- 
dition, sometimes having pious resolutions, and then 
again thoughtlessly transgressing, I spent ten years 
of my married life. During this time my wife shed 
many a tear ; but her principal comfort, probably, 
consisted in the reflection, that most of the women in 
the place where we lived were not any better oiF than 
she was. The village in which we lived contained 
about twenty houses, and in it were twelve taverns, 
all of Avhich had a good run of custom. There was 
also a Lutheran church, in which worship Avas held 
every Sabbath morning, from 10 to 12 o'clock. Many 
of the members, however, Avould visit the taverns be- 
fore going to church, and a majority of the remainder 
would take their dram at home ; so that I can most 
confidently aver that there were scarcely ever ten men 
in church Avho had not been drinking whisky. As 
soon as worship was over, all kinds of amusements 
were commenced in the tavern. The dancing-floor ' 
was cleared ofi", music struck up, and an invitation 
given to dance. The ninepin-alley and card-table 
were put in a state of readiness. Thus Avas Sabbath- 
breaking set in motion, which often continued till late 
in the night. Sometimes, hoAvever, their hilarity Avas 
interrupted by quarrelings, contentions, and bloAvs. 
Many Avould go home with wounded and bruised 
heads ; and others, robbed of their senses, would 
stagger to their dAvellings. 

From such a miserable life God delivered me in 
1834. In the night, between the 26th and 27th of 
December, I had been playing cards from 2 o'clock, 
P. M., till 12 o'clock at night, and lost considerable 


money. On my way home the thought came into my 
mind, Ho^y wrong have I clone ! All my money is 
spent, and in the morning I shall much need it. I 
have an industrious wife and five children at home, 
and yet I spend every thing in a wrong way. With 
this thought, it appeared as if God from heaven spoke 
to my heart, saying, "Also against me hast thou 
sinned." While these thoughts were passing in my 
mind I could not move a step. Many of my past 
sins were brought to remembrance, and my heart was 
so affected, that in the midnight hour, under the open 
canopy, I was constrained to cry aloud, while tears 
flowed from my eyes in greater quantities than they 
had ever done before. How long this continued I 
can not tell. I finally went home with a heavy heart, 
and with a firm resolution to forsake my ungodly 
companions, and to regulate my life according to the 
word of God. I had also received so much light, as 
led me not to depend upon my own strength, but to 
pray to God that he might aid me to put my good 
resolutions into practice. 

I now believed, in the honesty of my heart, that I 
ought not to express my feelings to any one in our 
village, notwithstanding I would gladly have done it 
had I believed that I could find one among them that 
was like-minded with myself. This brought me to 

think, that perhaps the people in T and B , 

of whose religion and piety so much was said, might 
be of the same mind as myself, and, consequently, a 
desire was waked up within me to have some conver- 
sation with them. I had often heard that they se- 
verely condemned dancing, playing, drunkenness, and 
such like things. This induced me to believe that I 


should agree with them. They lived twenty miles 
from my place of residence, and had been converted 
through the instrumentality of Moravian missionaries. 
These missionaries, however, I at that time did not 
know, for they were called by diflferent names, as 
mystics, pietists, etc. I now, for the first time, made 
known to my wife that I wished to visit the people in 

T . She, however, was not satisfied with my 

purpose ; and besides this, she had noticed that, in 
the few weeks past, I had been industriously reading 
the Bible, and she was afraid that I should bring as 
great a reproach upon her and myself as lay upon 
these people themselves. This threw me into a state 
of painful anxiety ; and I secretly prayed to God that 
he would teach me the right way ; and he so ordered 
it, that in the course of two or three weeks, a man 
met me on the street, whom, from his dress, I judged 
to have come from that place.* I spoke to him, and 

asked him whether he came from T or B ? 

" From B ," was the answer. I then said, " Please 

tell me what kind of people those are in your neigh- 
borhood, who have all kinds of nicknames, and hold 
meetings out of the church?" "I am one of them," 
was the reply, while he looked very friendly at me. 
I was now, with an anxious heart, much interested in 

He commenced with an account of conversion, and 
the new birth, and of the lost condition of the natural 
man, etc. I then related to him how it had lately 
been with me ; upon which he said that God had 
awakened me, and that I should seek, through Jesus, 

* In Germany, each district has some peculiarity in dress. 

H. KOENEKE. 161 

for the pardon of my sins. He explained to me, as 
well as he could, the way of salvation, and exhorted 
me not to be ashamed of being a follower of Christ, 
but willingly to take up and bear the cross, and seek 
out others, and meet with them to read the Bible and 
engage in prayer. He then left me, and I followed 
his advice. I often prayed with deep penitential feel- 
ings, but always in secret places. I wished to pray 
publicly in my family, yet a false shame kept me back. 
At this period of my repentance my wife noticed 
that I was really in earnest, and the people soon 
began to scoflf at me. My wife then laid every thing 
in my way; and when she found she could not ac- 
complish her object, she commenced weeping and 
lamenting that I had exposed her to so much reproach. 
She had eleven brothers, and a large number of rela- 
tives. For two evenings in succession she was very 
much enraged. The third evening I had some fearful 
forebodings, but I continued in prayer to God. On this 
evening I was indeed put upon the severest trial that 
I had ever experienced in all my life. She urged me 
most earnestly to give up my religious course entirely? 
and told me that if I continued to live in this way 
she would leave me. After various threatenings, 
which I can not describe, I finally asked myself. What 
shall I do ? the peace of my family will be certainly 
destroyed. I sprang up, not being able any longer 
to endure it. I got my Bible in order to read in it, 
and as I opened it, I read in the superscription to the 
116th Psalm: "Comfort for the afflicted." Then, 
thought I, with a sorrowful heart and tears in mine 
eyes, this may be something for me. As I read the 
first verses I felt as though the Psalm had been writ- 



ten expressly for me. When I had read it through, 
I had such comfort and such a strengthening of my 
faith, that I resolved with renewed courage to take 
up my cross, and concluded that the hand of the 
Almighty could change my situation. I therefore 
once more prayed to God with a stammering voice. 
I read the Psalm again, and then retired to rest 
quietly, my Avife having by this time gone to sleep. 
But I could not sleep the whole night long, being 
filled with hope and confidence in the almighty power 
of God; and thus, with watching and prayer, I 
waited anxiously for the day. 

The next morning she would not speak to me. I, 
however, addressed her as follows: "Beloved wife, I 
have something to say to you. If I had seven wives 
opposing me, and if each of them were seven times 
worse than you are, it would be out of their power to 
turn me from my purpose, for in my temptation God 
has strengthened me. Come and see this Psalm." 
She Avould not, however, read herself; so I commenced, 
and she listened with patience. And from that hour 
I had by the grace of God the victory. My wife was 
changed, and never persecuted me again. Here I 
must confess that I was not yet converted ; but this 
was only a degree of preventing grace, which God 
granted me in my awakening, for I well knew that I 
should have to experience a greater change. I had 
no assurance of God's favor, nor the pardon of my 
sins. Many a day I went from four to eight times in 
secret, fell upon ray knees and prayed to God, and 
often received some comfort, but still I lacked a living 
faith. Sometimes, however, I had the assurance that 
in case I should die in this penitent state, God, for 


n. KOENEKE. 163 

Christ's sake, would have mercy on me, and take me 
to heaven. 

I now began to look around to see if I could not 
find some one to unite with me in seeking salvation. 
One Sabbath afternoon I went into a house in which 
I kncAV there was a woman who was in the habit of 
reading her Bible. I met some others there. We 
continued meeting from time to time to read the 
Scriptures, and Arndt's True Christianity, and also to 
pray with each other. In a few weeks our number 
increased, so that we had from ten to twelve at our 
meetings, among whom also was my wife. 

This was in May, 1834. It was not long till we 

were visited by the brethren from T and B . 

We commenced our meetings with singing and prayer. 
And how astonished we were to hear one of them 
offer up a powerful prayer from the heart ! Such a 
prayer I had never heard in all my life. I viewed this 
as the effect of divine grace, and resolved afresh fully 
to make a surrender of myself to God; and I found, 
after persevering in prayer, the pardon of my sins in 
the blood of the Lamb. A living fiiith was begotten 
in my heart, and I felt that I could praise the God of 
my salvation. I now undertook to be the leader of 
this society. The number so increased, that in two 
years we had thirty persons. We were not only 
exposed to persecution from the world, but were so 
circumscribed in our privileges that we could not 
serve God according to the dictates of our conscience. 
This awakened in me a strong desire to go to Amer- 
ica, as I had often heard much of the religious liberty 
enjoyed in this country. 

I, with my wife, and another family, agreed to start 


for America, and we landed safely in Baltimore on 
the 11th January, 1836. We did not remain there 
long, but moved to Wheeling, Virginia. I was in high 
expectation of soon meeting some German American 
brethren ; but, alas ! I found myself disappointed. I 
then visited the Lutheran Church, which had hitherto 
been my Church; but as I did not find much of the 
spirit of religion there, I began, with the family above 
alluded to, and another family, to hold meetings again. 
Our number increased to twenty-five or thirty. Soon 
afterward, however, most of them removed to Ma- 
rietta. Some time after this I heard that the Meth- 
odists were going to send out missionaries among the 
Germans, and that they were about publishing a Ger- 
man religious paper. This was in 1838. I had for 
some time attended the English Methodist Church in 
Wheeling, and after due reflection and examination, 
I Avas induced to write a letter to Rev. William Nast, 
who was to be the editor of the paper, with a request 
that he Avould use his influence to have a missionary 
sent to Wheeling. 

On the 24th of December of the same year brother 
John Swahlen came as an agent to Wheeling, to obtain 
subscribers for the Apologist. We held a meeting 
the same evening, rejoiced togetlier, and the next day 
we united with the Church on probation. Brother 
Swahlen was afterward sent to us as a missionary, 
and I was appointed class-leader and exhorter. God 
was with us during the first year, and our society 
increased to eighty-three members. 

I was subsequently licensed to preach, and became 
a missionary to the Germans. From the Ohio con- 
ference, 1843, 1 was sent to Evansvillc, Indiana. This 

H. KOENEKE. 165 

mission was commenced the previous year, by brother 
Schmucker. I found fifty probationers, of which six 
were converted. So soon as the Lord made known 
his power in the awakening of sinners, the enemies 
of the cross of Christ manifested themselves, and 
that not in a small degree; for there were many Cath- 
olics and rationalists here. However, in spite of all 
this the work of the Lord prospered. The mission 
was enlarged, and at nearly every point we had to 
pray with penitent seekers of religion. By incessant 
labor and exertions I became so exhausted that I was 
scarcely able to do the work which was before me, 
yet the Lord continued to increase our numbers. 

The following summer the heat became more ex- 
cessive than I had been accustomed to, and the cli- 
mate did not appear to agree with me, and toward 
the close of August I was taken with the prevailing 
fever; and, after lying five weeks, I was seized with 
an attack of cholera morbus. I myself, with all who 
saw me, did not believe that I could recover. I was 
so near death that I believe I could not come nearer 
to my Savior without being admitted into his pres- 
ence. By faith I laid myself with childlike submis- 
sion into the will of God, and knew that Jesus Avas 
my Savior, and through his grace I was prepared 
to die. But it pleased my heavenly Father to 
leave me awhile longer here in his service, and 
after three months' sickness I could commence again 
to preach the word of the Lord. 

I was returned to this place, and in this year we 
built a brick church in Evansville and two log 
churches in the country. I left the mission with a 
hundred and sixty-seven members, and a third church 


in the course of building, with a good prospect for 
future success. 

In 1545 I was transferred to the Illinois confer- 
ence, and was appointed presiding elder of the St. 
Louis German district. In the different missions on 
this district there were eight churches and four hun- 
dred and eighty-five members. I found in my first 
round that I had many difficulties to contend with to 
find my way through the wilderness and thinly-settled 
counties. Yet at every quarterly meeting I was per- 
mitted to see some fruits of our labors in remarkable 
awakenings and conversions, of which I will name a 
few. One was on the St. Charles mission. Here 
twenty-two joined on probation, among them a man 
whose wife was very much opposed to him, and cen- 
sured him most bitterly for the step he had taken. 
She lamented very much that he had fallen from the 
faith, as she intended to live and die a Lutheran. The 
man, however, who had been converted, treated her 
most kindly, and persuaded her to accompany him 
to the next quarterly meeting, which was held the 
8th of September, 1846. Here the Lord opened her 
heart, and she felt the need of a Savior. Tears of 
penitence rolled over her face, and under the prayers 
of the Church she found peace and comfort to her 
soul. At the close of this meeting we gave an invi- 
tation to those who wished to join our Church. A 
number came forward and gave us their names, and 
among them this woman. At this time a remark- 
able circumstance occurred here. Another man 
joined us whose wife instantly took the place of 
the one that had just been converted, and began to 
persecute her husband. She cried aloud, and left 

H, KOENEKE. 167 

the house; sat down behind a barn, and continued to 
cry aloud nearly one hour. She said her husband 
had fallen from the faith — that she had seen symp- 
toms of this for some time past, for he had of late 
been constantly at his Bible in secret, and tried to 
keep it from her. The man replied, " Dear wife, how 
gladly would I speak with you on these subjects, but 
you are not willing to hear me." "0, go away," re- 
plied she ; " we are parted, I can no longer live with 
you." While she was in this condition the first- 
named woman stepped up to her and said, " I pity 
you from the bottom of my heart, for I was three 
months in the condition in which you now find your- 
self, but I did not go to such extremes as you do ; 
and to-day I thank God that I have been delivered 
from this sad condition." As she told of her con- 
version tears of joy rolled down her face, and she 
added, " My eyes are not only opened to see my folly 
and my ignorance, but also to see the necessity of 
repentance and conversion, and I now feel that 1 
have a true faith. I only wish heartily that you may 
not torment yourself so long as I did, and soon ex- 
perience that Christ is your Redeemer. So soon as 
this is the case you will love the Methodists, and be 
glad to join them as I have done. You will soon 
find that your husband is not worse than he was be- 
fore, but much better. May the Lord soon deliver 
you from this condition !" and with these words she 
left her with the remark, "I will pray for you." I 
exhorted the man to be steadfast, and commended 
him to the great Shepherd of his sheep. Several 
months afterward this woman was converted. 

The Gth of July, 184G, I commenced my third 


round on the district, and had happy times. I spent 
two weeks on the Weston mission, administered the 
sacrament of the Lord's supper at four diiferent 
places, and baptized thirty-one persons. A number 
were converted to God, and eighteen joined the 
Church during this visit. 

On the Versailles mission, twenty miles from Boone- 
ville, we had a two days' meeting, and, according to 
custom, we called for penitents to come to the altar 
of prayer; among those who came were a 
Catholic woman and girl, who also joined us. As 
soon as this had occurred, a Catholic man left the 
house and went and told the father of the girl that 
his daughter had joined the Methodists. He was 
much enraged, and concealed himself near the road 
on which she returned. As she came to the place 
where he was he rushed from his concealment, laid 
hold of his daughter and beat her most unmercifully." 
Though compelled to leave her parental roof, and 
seek a home with her brother-in-law, she remained 
a member of our Church. As for the woman, her 
husband told her that if she dared to go to the Meth- 
odist Church again he would take his rifle and shoot 

In Warren county, Missouri, a young woman, of 
seventeen years, was driven from her parents' house 
because she joined our Church. Yet she escaped 
without beating. However, in the same neighborhood, 
a man who had found peace with God, and joined us, 
was beaten dreadfully by his own brother, who was a 
doctor, saying that he would beat Methodism out of 
him. In this he, however, did not succeed, for the 
converted man only became more zealous in the cause 

H. KOENEKE. 169 

The doctor soon discovered his mistake, and went to 
his brother to ask his pardon. About this time many 
rationalists were awakened and converted, besides a 
number of Roman Catholics. This was a year of 
prosperity on all these missions, though we had much 
opposition in various ways. Of this I will relate the 
following instance : I had made an appointment in a 
large German settlement. A friend promised to see 
that I should have the Lutheran church to preach in ; 
but, when the day for preaching arrived, as I was 
going to the place, I saw in the distance, to my as- 
tonishment, a large number of persons collected 
around the church. In the beginning I thought that 
curiosity had brought out the people, as I knew there 
were many rationalists and Catholics in the place, but 
I soon perceived thairthere was a dispute and conten- 
tion among them. The majority were not willing that 
I should preach in the church, and the disturbance 
increased, so that there was a great contention, and a 
prospect of a general fight appeared. I sought to 
restore order by making signs and beckoning to the 
people, and in a good measure succeeded in getting 
their attention, and then addressed them in the fol- 
lowing words : 

" Dear people, think of what you are doing ; I have 
not come here to take away your church, but to preach 
to you the. word of God, and he Avho does not wish 
to hear it has full liberty to stay away. As you have 
such a contention, and are not willing that I should 
preach here, I wish to inform you that I will preach 
in the house of my friend Sandford, half a mile from 
here, and all who wish to hear me will accompany me 

to that place." 



At once tlie contention commenced again, but when 
I left many followed, so that our house was full. I 
thought, for a moment, that it would be useless to 
preach to a people that had just been so much ex- 
cited. Yet I had the comfort to know that if there 
was a difference in the crowd I had the better part 
of them. I directed them to sing for some time, that 
they might become calm. The Lord blessed this meet- 
ing in such a manner that tears of contrition flowed 
from more than a score of eyes. This was not a 
superficial excitement, for many began to ask what 
they must do to be saved. After I had taken my 
dinner and was about to start on my journey, I found 
a dozen in an adjoining room, who besought me to 
tarry awhile longer and prajjL with them, which I 
cheerfully did. I immediately wrote to the preacher 
on the Versailles mission to visit this place, and to 
form a society. This was accordingly done, and there 
is now here one of the principal appointments on the 
Jefferson mission. 

Soon after this, on 7th of August, 1848, our St. 
Louis camp meeting commenced, which proved to be 
a great blessing to many. Thirty-two were con- 
verted, and twenty-five joined the Church. Here, 
also, a remarkable circumstance occurred. A certain 
woman who had a desire to visit the camp meeting, # 
obtained leave of her husband to accompany one of ' 
our brethren, with the promise that he would follow 
on Sabbath morning. She was awakened under the 
first sermon, and came to the altar for prayer; and, 
by continued supplication and faith, she found peace 
Avith God. We greeted her joyfully, as a new sister 
in Christ, while she felt herself baptized with the 

H. KOENEKE. 171 

Spirit from on high. On Sabbath morning, as her 
husband came, she approached him joyfully, and de- 
clared to him that she had obtained salvation. He 
became enraged and so angry that he determined not 
to remain, and declared that she might go where she 
pleased — he would go and sell his horse and wagon, 
and break every thing in the house to pieces, and then 
leave her. He would not be entreated, but went oflF 
leaving her with us. The poor woman, sorrowful at 
what might take place, felt it her duty to return home 
at the first opportunity, which was on the following 
night. On Monday morning, as she arrived at home, 
she found the house locked, and had to enter in 
through the window. She found every thing in order, 
but could not find a trace of her husband except his 
pocket handkerchief, which lay wet on the floor before 
the bed. With an anxious heart she awaited the ar- 
rival of her husband. Her heart began to beat 
quicker as she heard him approach the door. He 
unlocked the door, walked in, and in a soft tone said, 
" Are you here already ? You might have remained, 
and I too would have come again." She noticed that 
something had produced a great change in him, and 
asked him what it was. Upon this he could no longer 
refrain from tears, and confessed that during the past 
night he had wept over his sins, till his handkerchief 
was wet with his tears. He then related that after he 
had gone two miles from the camp meeting, such a 
feeling came over him that he had to cast himself upon 
the ground and confess his wrong. He felt that he 
was a great sinner, and this feeling still pressed him 
down. An inward joy sprang up in her heart that 
God had heard her prayers, and she commenced to 


pray now more especially for his conversion. He 
soon obtained peace, and they are now both faithful 
members of our Church. 

At our conference, in the fall of 1846, I received 
an appointment to a new district, a thousand miles 
around ; on this we had many awakenings and power- 
ful conversions : among others, the following, which 
occurred in the St. Charles mission : an elder of the 
Lutheran Church, who had been a great persecutor 
of our members, and sought in every way to bring 
the work of God into disrepute, came one day, as by 
accident, into our church, just as worship was com- 
mencing. He concluded to stay and see what the 
Methodists were doing, so that he might collect some- 
thing of which to make sport among his comrades ; 
but this was the hour in which his conscience was' 
awakened. The word of God was as a two-edged 
SATord to him, and he left the house deeply smitten in 
his spirit, yet without being observed by others. As 
he had three miles to go home, he meditated upon the 
way on what he had heard, and the Holy Spirit found 
way to his heart, and he was brought to see himself 
a great sinner. Scarcely had he reached his house 
when his distress of mind became so great that he 
could not well conceal his feelings. In this condition 
he did not like to appear before his family, and there- 
fore hastened to the stable and fell down on his face 
and cried aloud for deliverance. His wife and chil- 
dren in the house soon heard the noise, ran out, and 
knew the voice of the father, thinking that a great 
misfortune had befallen him. But as soon as they 
saw him in this condition, they thought he was de- 
ranged. The neighbors and especial friends were 

H. KOENEKE. 173 

immediately sent for, while others came of their own 
accord, so that, in the course of an hour, the whole 
yard was full of people. All united in the opinion 
that he was deranged, as he continued to cry to the 
Almighty for help, and declared himself as lost. The 
wisest among them recommended that a doctor, who 
lived about ten miles off, should be sent for with all 
speed. As they were preparing to send for him, a 
brother S. passed by, and saw the great crowd of 
people, and heard among them a voice of lamentation. 
He hastened to see what this might mean ; but as he 
remembered seeing this same man before at church, 
and how attentively he had listened to the sermon, of 
which all there knew nothing, he at once concluded 
the man must be under awakening, and as he ap- 
proached and spoke to the penitent man, he began to 
cry out, " 0, brother S., pray for me ; I am lost." 
The brother now had a blessed work before him, and 
at the same time, with difl&culty, restrained them from 
sending for the physician. After he had prayed with 
him for some time, the man sprang up, filled with the 
love of God and the assurance of the pardon of all 
his sins, and commenced to praise his Savior aloud. 
In the course of a few minutes the whole crowd •'dis- 

New doors are constantly opening to us, and our 
meetings are more and more attended. Our camp 
meetings among the Germans have proved a great 
blessing to us, as our brethren take much interest in 
them. Methodism is destined to spread among the 
Germans of this country, and in less than ten years 
"we hope to extend our labors over Germany. 




In the year 1824, when I was about thirty years 
old, the Lord awakened me from my sleep of sin. I 
lived in the kingdom of Hanover, about fifteen miles 
from Bremen, Germany. Nothing was heard about 
conversion in our country, and consequently nothing 
was known of converted people. People were satis- 
fied to hear a sermon once in two or three weeks, but 
this was nothing except a dead morality. Every three 
months we made confession of past sins, and took the 
sacrament of the Lord's supper, which we considered 
would render us free from sin. This Avas the custom 
there in the Lutheran Church, to which I belonged. 

I Avas not awakened through the instrumentality 
of a pious preacher; it was the Lord himself who 
awakened me. It was a severe penitential struggle, 
continuing for more than a year, through which I 
passed. I had no teacher but the word of God, which 
made me more sorrowful than joyful. I tried to bet- 
ter myself, and prayed earnestly Avith tears to God 
for power to do so. I endeavored, in my own 
strength, to live Avithout sin, and kncAV nothing of 
that faith by Avhicli Ave are saved through grace. As 
I was at Bremen in the summer, there came a young 
man to me, in the good providence of God, who took 

a. DANKER. 175 

me the next morning to the St. Michael's Church, 
Avhere I heard a sermon from F. R. Mallett, such as 
I had not heard in all my life. It -was penetrating, 
spiritual, and full of life. All my self-righteousness 
was taken from me, and, at the same time, I was di- 
rected to Jesus, as the Lamb of God. The same 
evening, by perseverance in prayer, I obtained the 
pardon of my sins and peace with God. 

After my conversion, when I became more inti- 
mately acquainted with the preacher, Frederick R. 
Mallett, he requested me to hold meetings. Following 
his good advice, I commenced to preach the word of 
God to others ; but opposition arose, and an officer 
was sent to disperse our meetings. I was brought 
before the civil authorities ; but this did not result in 
any thing serious, and we finally obtained liberty to 
preach when we pleased. The number of those that 
believed was increased, so that, in a short time, meet- 
ings were held in four places. 

In the year 1836 I came to America, not with a view 
to preach, or to say any thing to others about conver- 
sion, but from a desire to live piously with my family, 
and so keep my religion to myself, I settled at 
Marietta, Ohio ; but soon commenced preaching again, 
and have continued to do so ever since. Sinners were 
awakened and converted ; and although I had the 
name of Lutheran, my people were called Methodists. 
About this time the Methodists commenced their 
work among the Germans in Marietta, where I had 
my society. 

On one occasion I preached in the English Meth- 
odist church. Under the sermon some began to cry 
aloud for mercy ; some fell down beside their seats 


and began to pray ; and this was the first time I ever 
prayed with penitents in the Church. It caused some 
disturbance in the Lutheran Church, so that two weeks 
afterward I withdrew, and delivered my farewell ser- 
mon. Rev. C. Best, preacher in charge, and N. Callen- 
der, presiding elder, extended the hand of friendship 
to me ; and after seven weeks' serious reflection and 
prayer, I joined the Methodists, and was received as 
local preacher in the quarterly conference. Brother 
Callender appointed me to the Marietta mission, and 
forty-two of my members went with me to the Meth- 
odist Church. This was in the year 1839. In 1840 
I was sent to the Monroe mission in Ohio. In 1841 
I Avas ordained deacon, and in 1842 I was ordained 
elder in the Church. Since my connection with the 
Methodist Church I have seen many souls converted, 
among whom are a goodly number Avho came to this 
country as Roman Catholics. I thank God that the 
Methodist Episcopal Church ever sent her mission- 
aries to the Germans. May the blessing of God rest 
upon the Church for this labor of love, and reward 
her members in time and in eternity ! 


I was born in the duchy of Nassau, on the 30th 
of December, 1818, of Protestant parents. My 
parents were moral in their lives, and I was brought 
up to strict morality; yet I felt the seeds of corrup- 
tion within, and the imagination of my heart was evil 
from youth up. The confirmation, which took place 
in my fourteenth year, made no especial impression 
on my mind, because our preacher was an uncon- 
verted man. Soon after the confirmation wc had a 


churcli dedication feast, which was hekl every year 
on the Sabbath day, accompanied with a ball, to 
which the newly-made Christians also went, danced, 
and used strong drink. 

Fortunately for me and my family, in the year 1834 
we emigrated to this happy land, and arrived at Balti- 
more on the first of January, 1835. In this city my 
sister was a member of the Zion's Church. The 
preacher then told the children, by no means to be- 
lieve that there was a hell into which God would cast 
the workmanship of his hands. But it pleased the 
Lord to lead us to his people in the Otterbein* 
Church. The spiritual worship there soon convinced 
us of the necessity of a new birth, and our whole 
family were converted in the winter of 1836. Here 
I was awakened to a sense of my lost condition. 
Nothing could satisfy my soul but the blood of my 
Redeemer; and I made the resolution, like Jacob of 
old, to wrestle for his blessing. It was granted, and 
I felt that I was born again, and translated into the 
joyful kingdom of God's children. 

In the year 1837 we moved to Wheeling, where we 
remained three months. In this place we joined the 
Methodists, and labored with them. God blessed us 
abundantly, and in a short time fourteen families 
were converted. We afterward moved to Marietta, 
Ohio, where a large society was formed, out of 
which there are now nine preachers in the vineyard 
of Christ. I remained here eight years, and often 

*This is the old Church of Otterbein, in which the followers of 
that venerable man have preached since his day. Otterbein assisted 
at the ordination of Bishop Asbury. 


had strong desires to devote myself wholly to the 
service of God, but thought that if it was his will 
that I should do so he would open a way for me. 
Often when I looked at the lost and neglected con- 
dition of the Germans of this country my soul was 
sorrowful. Finally a door was opened for me, and 
by the advice of brother Schmucker and brother Nast 
I started out to seek some destitute Germans in the 
state of Indiana, and went to Madison. I met with 
many hinderances, but I prayed earnestly to my heav- 
enly Father to show me whether I was in the way of 
my duty. He answered my prayer in the awaken- 
ing and conversion of souls. My faith was strength- 
ened, and I removed with a Avidowed mother and 
two sisters to Madison. My father had died while 
we yet lived in Marietta. 

I labored night and day for two years and a half 
as a local preacher, and when I left our society had 
increased to between forty and fifty. Since then I 
have had some hard fields to cultivate ; yet the Lord 
has abundantly blessed me. May God make me 
more useful ! 


I was born in the year 1814, in the kingdom of 
Hanover, of Christian parents, and members of the 
Lutheran Church. Notwithstanding they at that 
time knew nothing of a change of heart or the new 
birth, they lived upright and pious lives, and prayed 
night and morning in the family. I therefore en- 
joyed a good training and education, so far as it was 
in their power to give it to me. As I grew up I was 
thrown into ungodly society, and heard more swear- 

J. H. BAHRENBURa. 179 

ing than praying. My parents did not allow me to 
go to the various wicked places of amusement. Yet 
this did not change my wicked heart, though it pre- 
served me from outbreaking sins. The preacher of 
our place was a blind guide. He confirmed me, and 
received me into the Church; but of experimental 
Christianity he knew nothing. 

About this time there was a number of persons 
powerfully awakened through the Spirit of God in 
our neighborhood; some were converted, and my 
father united with them. In their meetings they 
sung, read, and prayed, and told each other what 
Jesus had done for their souls. My father then took 
me with him to those meetings, and I there received 
such good impressions that I formed the resolution 
to forsake the world and serve the Lord. Scarcely 
had I made this noble resolution when persecutions 
commenced against us. Opposition arose from every 
side, and the preacher denounced us openly from the 
pulpit as fools. All this did not deter me, but rather 
helped me on ; and my father admonished me to be 
steadfast in my purpose, and related to me what he 
had experienced at those meetings. In this condition 
I spent about one year praying and weeping between 
hope and fear. The reason why I had to bear my 
load of sins so long was, no doubt, this : I was 
ashamed to bear reproach for the sake of Christ; but 
finally the wicked cast me oif, and now I thought to 
myself, the ungodly have disowned me, and I am not 
fit to go with God's people. Yet my desire for 
Christ and salvation was increased. I often prayed 
in secret, but all seemed dark before me. Finally, 
as I believed from the heart that Christ died for me 


also, and looked to him by faith for mercy, he par- 
doned my sins and accepted me. My heart was filled 
with the love of God — every thing around me ap- 
peared new. I could now say in truth, "0, taste 
and see that the Lord is good!" 

I at once felt a strong desire to proclaim to others 
what the Lord had done for me. I spoke to some of 
my neighbors, and held some social meetings, and 
some were awakened and converted. As soon as this 
work began persecution against us increased. The 
whole village united to oppress us, and petitioned the 
authorities of the land to suppress our meetings; but 
this only increased our zeal. Our number increased, 
and I continued to hold the meetings some four years. 
But as we were not allowed the full exercise of our 
Christian privileges, and heard that there was liberty 
of conscience in America, our family concluded to go 
to that country. After a stormy voyage of fifty-three 
days we landed in Baltimore. From thence my father 
came to Ohio, and settled in Marietta. I now found 
myself in a new world, a stranger among strangers. 
I went to a number of churches, but found no satis- 
faction, because I did not understand the language. 
Finally I went to a Methodist prayer meeting. Here 
I found more than a mere form of godliness. Some 
shouted aloud for joy, others were crying for mercy, 
and the power of the Lord was manifested in a way 
I had never seen before. I prayed to the Lord in my 
own language, and enjoyed such a sense of the divine 
presence that I could scarcely express it. The lan- 
guage of my heart was: "This is my people; I am 
of one spirit with them." I now began to go to their 
Sunday school to learn their language. 


In tliis way I was soon acquainted with the doc- 
trines and discipline of the Church, and was fully 
satisfied that they corresponded with the word of 
God. From this time my call to preach the Gospel 
to others was stronger, and I commenced to hold 
meetings among the Germans. In my meetings the 
Lord blessed us, and a number were awakened and 
converted. Persecution then arose again on the part 
of the Lutherans ; accordingly, with the converted part 
of my congregation, I joined the Methodists; which 
step I have never regretted. In a short time I re- 
ceived license to exhort, and some time afterward 
license to preach. I then went out and preached, 
often going on foot thirty or forty miles to the differ- 
ent German settlements. One of these visits I will 
never forget. I went with brother Koeneke, the Ger- 
man missionary, to Chester and Pomeroy. When we 
first arrived we could scarcely find a place to preach 
in, but we finally succeeded, and the first night one 
soul was converted. We held our meeting four days, 
and during that time twenty-two joined our Church, 
the most of whom were converted. 

In July, 1842, I was received on trial in the Pitts- 
burg conference, and sent to Captina, Ohio, as Ger- 
man missionary. This was a hard trial for me. My 
mother said to me, in tears, "My son, remain with us 
Avhile we live." But I replied, "Whosoever loveth 
father or mother more than me is not worthy of me." 
She then bade me go, praying that God's blessing 
might attend me. I commenced my work with tears 
and in much weakness; but the Lord helped me, and 
many souls were awakened and converted to God as 
seals to my ministry. Since my commencement in 


this work I have seen many hardships, and have had 
to endure much persecution. Churches and school- 
houses have been closed against me, and I have been 
persecuted by my countrymen ; have had to travel far 
over rough roads ; but I thank God for what he has 
done for me, and for what my eyes have seen of his 
work among my countrymen. My daily prayer is 
that the Lord may keep me faithful. 

PETEll \^LKINS. 183 



I WAS born in the kingdom of Hanover, on the 22d 
of January, 1819, of poor parents, who had to work 
hard to obtain the necessaries of life for themselves 
and their children. As members of the Lutheran 
Church they sought to give us such education as their 
circumstances allowed, and, at the same time, relig- 
ious instruction according to the light which they had. 
This consisted only in outward ceremonies, without 
making any impression upon the heart. On arriving 
at the year when it is customary in the Lutheran 
Church to renew the baptismal vow in confirmation, 
and to take the sacrament, I was sent to receive the 
necessary preparatory instruction. At this time I 
was deeply convinced of my sinful condition and of 
the necessity of obtaining pardon. I read, from time 
to time, in the word of God, and was so clearly con- 
vinced of my lost condition that I had no rest for my 

My instructions did not do me much good ; for, in- 
stead of being directed to the Savior, we Avere di- 
rected to the ceremonies of the Church, and our 
spiritual guide knew nothing of the pardon of sins. 
Yet, in our confirmation, he stood before us, and after 
hearing our confession pretended to absolve us. I re- 
newed my baptismal vow, receiVbd the holy sacrament, 


but there was no peace in my soul. As I now had 
to leave my parental home, in order to earn some- 
thing for my parents, I became a keeper of sheep in 
the barrens. My Bible was my constant companion, 
and the Spirit of God continued to work on my heart. 
In imagination I can yet go back to the places where 
I kneeled to pray and plead with the Lord. My de- 
voted disposition excited the enmity of some op- 
posers of religion, and an ungodly physician ad- 
vised my parents to take the Bible from me lest I 
should lose my senses. At first they were inclined 
to follow his counsel ; but, upon my earnest entreaty 
and assurance that they would make me unhappy if 
they did take from me what was my only source of 
comfort, they allowed me to retain it. 

At tliis time I received a call to take charge of a 
small school, which I accepted. It was customary for 
the teacher to board with the parents of the scholars ; 
and, as I went my round, I came to a very pious man, 
who prayed in his family, and from whom I received 
good advice and instruction. But I could not exer- 
cise that true faith by which we are saved through 
grace, and thus I went on four years in doubts and 
fears. I was inclined to offer myself to the Mission 
Institute to prepare myself for a mission to heathen 
lands; but, through the entreaties and opposition of 
my mother, I abandoned this idea. I had a sister who 
was sick and very low with consumption, and during 
her sickness I often talked to her about religion. 
Three days before her death she was converted. My 
next purpose was to go to a teachers' institute and 
prepare myself more fully for a teacher; but here 
some circumstsaices rnade it impossible for me to go. 


I was more and more convinced of the deeply-cor- 
rupt condition of the learned class of society, and 
the great opposition which existed against the few 
that were truly pious, and my heart longed to find a 
place where I could serve God without restraint. 
About this time I heard of this free America, and 
that there were Christians here who worship God in 
spirit and in truth, and who professed to have ex- 
perienced the pardon of their sins, and had the wit- 
ness of the Spirit in their hearts. I now formed the 
resolution to leave my father-land, and to come to 
this country, and from henceforth and forever to 
devote myself to the service of God. On the 9th of 
June, 1837, I left the scenes of my youth, and my 
parental home, bade my parents and friends farewell, 
and departed in the name of the Lord. In eight 
weeks I reached Baltimore. On my journey from 
Baltimore to Wheeling, Virginia, I fell among spirit- 
ual robbers, and soon caught the spirit of those with 
whom I associated. I forgot my vows to devote 
myself to God, and my aim now was to become rich, 
neglecting to seek for those treasures which neither 
moth nor rust doth corrupt. Yet my merciful heav- 
enly Father followed me, and my heart was often 
awakened from its delusion. 

I had selected Marietta, Ohio, as my home, where 
I heard brother Danker, then a Lutheran preacher; 
but he made very little impression upon me. In the 
commencement of the year 1838 brother Koeneke 
came to Marietta. He held prayer meetings, and for 
some time prejudice kept me away ; but as I had 
heard much about these meetings, I finally concluded 
to go and see for myself. The plain, pointed dis- 


course affected me very much; and I, who had gone 
there out of curiosity, soon surrendered myself as a 
penitent sinner. All efforts were made by the enemies 
of godliness to keep me back, and they so far suc- 
ceeded, through my unwatchfulness, that I not only 
staid from the meetings, but became myself an 
enemy and opposcr of the work, and thought I was 
doing God service. One night I heard brother Hart- 
°man preach an awakening sermon, and being much 
offended, thought I would persecute him on his Avay 
home. I stood before the church door while he was 
making his closing prayer; as he prayed especially 
for his enemies and opposers, his prayer touched 
my heart. How, thought I, can he pray for his 
enemies? I went home and sought rest on my bed, 
but found none. My heart was touched as with an 

I now made the resolution to lead a new life, but 
the more I sti-ove to amend the worse I appeared to 
grow. I was now deeply awakened; especially under 
brother Banker's preaching. One Sunday afternoon, 
as he preached in the English Methodist Church — he 
had not then joined the Methodists — he called on me 
to give out the hymn for him, and I read the one com- 
mencing : 

" Jesus is the sinner's friend : 
that all the world might hear it I" 

A searching sermon on repentance followed, by 
which I was deeply affected. At the close of the 
sermon we sang again, and when we came to the 
last verse I could scarcely repeat the words, and 
again resolved not to rest till I could say in truth that 
Jesus had received me. 


It was said of brother Danker that he Avas worse 
than the Methodists, on account of his powerful dis- 
courses. He finally preached his farewell sermon to 
the Lutherans, and joined the Methodist Church. 
On the 22d of October, 1838, I prayed for hours in 
the third story of a mill ; yet my faith was too weak, 
while the enemy was watchful to disturb me. The 
Methodists had their prayer meeting; yet I did not 
like to go to them, because I had persecuted them. 
On the next day, however, I was so distressed that 
I had to exclaim, " I can not live in this condition, and 
to die I am unprepared." I heard that brother Dan- 
ker was to preach, and went to hear him. Before he 
commenced the services, he said that this was the first 
time he arose to speak as a Methodist preacher. I 
was glad to hear this. His sermon was very appro- 
priate to my case, and I thought some one had told 
him of my condition. After preaching a prayer meet- 
ing was held for seekers of salvation, in which I also 
engaged. The Lord heard our prayers and granted 
me the pardon of my sins. Never will I forget the 
evening when God spoke peace to my soul. 

I felt from the first day after my conversion that 
it was my duty to preach the Gospel, but there were 
many hinderances in my way. Notwithstanding my 
heart was restless on this subject, I kept myself back 
and resisted the drawing of the Holy Spirit. In this 
way I continued for three years, till I had well-nigh 
lost the evidence of my acceptance with God, and 
brought darkness upon my soul. 

After a severe conflict in my own mind, and much 
prayer to God that he might open the way for me to 
proclaim the Gospel of Christ, I became willing to 


go ; but would not go without the assurance that the 
Lord would go with me. Now my peace returned 
again. The Church took up my case, and brought 
me out without my doing any thing to push myself 
forward, and in the year 1843 I was recommended 
to the conference, received on trial, and sent to St. 
Louis as a missionary. I had many temptations and 
trials, and several times I was laid low with sickness ; 
yet it has pleased the Lord hitherto to sustain me. ' 
My second field of labor was the Beardstown mission, 
in Illinois. Here I had a long spell of sickness, and 
was completely prostrated by disease. I returned by 
permission of my presiding elder, brother Jacoby, 
to Marietta. I endeavored to resign myself to the 
leadings of a gracious Providence, and to do what 
little I could in exhorting and visiting the people. 
The language of my heart was : I will do all I can, 
if the Lord will give me strength. The Lord heard 
my prayer and restored my health, and in the year 
1845 I was appointed to the Louisville mission, 
and here during my two years' labor one hundred and 
thirteen joined the Church, nearly all of whom, 
according to their profession, were converted. 

I expect to spend my days in this cause. Though 
poor in this world's wealth, I feel richer than kings 
and emperors, and hope so to live that, after I have 
preached to others, I may not myself become a cast- 




I CAME to America in the year 18B7, and arrived, 
on the 22d of August, at Wheeling, Virginia, with my 
wife and two children, where my brother Henry then 
resided. My object in coming to this country was to 
seek earthly treasures, in which I hoped to succeed 
better than in my father-land. My prospects in the 
commencement were tolerably good, but I did not 
enjoy myself so well here as in the old country, on 
account of being deprived of many of the pleasures 
I had been accustomed to at home. 

I lived with my brother, who had been converted to 
God, and whose Christian life and conversation, and 
religious services around the family altar, made me 
still more restless. He often exhorted me to repent 
of my sins ; to which I replied, " God is no more my 
enemy than he is yours." He often invited me to go 
with him to their meeting, which I sometimes did, 
merely to please him. When I heard the preaching 
I always felt a sense of condemnation ; yet I flattered 
myself that God was merciful, and would finally not 
deal so strictly with us. But the more I sought in 
this way to quiet my conscience, the. more restless I 
became. I went one evening to hear preaching, as I 
thought, but there was a prayer meeting; and the 


small congregation prayed earnestly, and became 
quite lively; finally, a young sister commenced to 
shout aloud the praises of God. This oifended me ; 
yet I trembled like an aspen leaf, and knew not what 
ailed me. Finally, I concluded that they were all 
possessed of some bad spirit, and took my hat and 
left. When I came home my wife asked me why I 
came home alone. " Ah !" said I, " I have seen 
strange things this evening. The people are all be- 
side themselves." My wife looked earnestly in my 
face and said to me, " These people are not beside 
themselves ; tut they are good Christians, and we are 
on the road to hell and everlasting destruction ;" and 
as she said this the tears started from my eyes. 
These words were as a dagger to my soul. The ar- 
rows of the Almighty had pierced my heart, and I 
stood as if petrified before her. My sin-stained con- 
science was now fully waked up ; I sought to find 
rest, but found none. I lay under the load of my 
sins ; and, about midnight, I said to my wife, " Let us 
pray;" and we then made a promise to each other 
not to cease praying till God had pardoned our sins. 
The more I prayed the heavier my burden became ; 
and in this condition I spent some six weeks, till 
New- Year's night, 1838. This evening, about seven 
o'clock, I threw myself before the Lord, and prayed 
earnestly for the pardon of my sins. A number 
around me were converted, and I still lay a helpless 
sinner, sometimes tempted to give up ; but, finally, I 
made the resolution that, if I died, I would die at the 
feet of mercy ; and so I prayed till two o'clock in the 
morning. Then was the happy moment at which the 
Savior entered into my heart with his peace. Old 


things had passed away, asd all things had become 
new. This was the new birth. Immediately a new 
song was put into ray mouth, and I shouted aloud the 
high praises of God. My wife had received the spirit 
of adoption one week before this, so that now I could 
say, I and my house will serve the Lord. 

I remained in Wheeling till spring, when we moved 
to Marietta, Ohio, where, with a number of others, I 
joined the Methodist Episcopal Church. I soon com- 
menced to lead class, and to exhort the small society. 
In a short time a preacher was sent to take care of 
us and preach to us. For about three years I con- 
tinued to exhort, when I was offered license to preach. 
To this I made objections, on the ground that I was 
not competent for so weighty an ofBce ; yet I received 
it, and continued to labor as a local preacher till the 
summer of 1842, when I was recommended to the 
Ohio conference. I was received on trial, and sent to 
the Belleville mission, Illinois. When I had received 
my appointment I spent the first night with my wife, 
in prayer, that God might prepare me for so responsi- 
ble a position ; and as soon as possible I arranged my 
temporal affairs, and committed myself and family 
into the care of Providence. After a journey of six- 
teen days, I . arrived safe at the house of brother 
Jacoby, in St. Louis. The kind reception I met with 
from him encouraged and strengthened me, and in 
three days afterward I was on my way to my field of 

Here I found a large field, like a valley of dry 
bones. I felt my weakness and incompetency for the 
great work before me ; yet the Lord was with us, and 
helped me, and a number were converted. When I 


now look back and see how the Lord has raised up a 
people for his name, from so small a commencement, 
my heart is filled with joy. 

From Belleville I was sent to Herman mission, 
Missouri. Here we had some gracious revivals ; and 
I will only mention one incident, among many, that 
shows the power of divine grace in the awakening 
and conversion of sinners. While I was holding a 
two days' meeting a man in the neighborhood, who 
had an only daughter whom the father idolized, said 
to her, " The Methodists have a meeting in our neigh- 
borhood to-day ; let us go over and see some fun." 
So he saddled the horses, and off they rode. On the 
way the father said to his daughter, " We ought to 
have put on wooden shoes to-day, so that when the 
Methodists begin to roll around over the benches we 
might help to make music for them." They arrived, 
and I commenced preaching. In the afternoon I 
preached again. The power of the Lord came down, 
and his daughter, with a number of others, was soon 
at the altar of prayer, crying for mercy. The father 
approached to take away his daughter by force ; but 
a brother told him not to do it, and that if he would 
go to destruction himself, to let his daughter alone 
to seek her salvation. The daughter was converted 
that day ; and when she arose, she ran to her father 
and threw her arms around his neck and exclaimed, 
" Father ! father ! repent and be converted, or you 
will be lost forever." The father stood as if paralyzed 
before her, and was deeply awakened to see his lost 
condition. Eight days afterward he came twenty 
miles to hear me preach, and was much distressed on 
account of his sins ; but he, too, obtained pardon. 


I have had many a joyful hour in God's service, and 
I am fully determined to continue in this work. May 
the Lord keep me faithful, and let me finally obtain 
an inheritance at his right hand ! 


I was born and brought up in the grand duchy of 
Baden, Germany, and in 1837, in my fifteenth year, 
I came with my parents to America, and settled in 
Sandusky county, Ohio. Through the teaching and 
customs of our country I was a member of the Lu- 
theran Church. After my confirmation and taking 
the sacrament of the Lord's supper I considered my- 
self a Christian, and believed I was as good as the 
most who are made Christians in this way. But to- 
day it makes me shudder when I think of the solemn 
vows we had to make in the presence of a large as- 
sembly to renounce the devil and all his works, and 
declare our purpose to serve God all the days of 
our lives, loving him with the whole heart, and our 
neighbor as ourselves. My heart was not much 
affected, and I was' glad when the hour of confirma- 
tion was over, but rejoiced that I had passed my 
catechetical instruction, and was now free from the 
tyrannical and overbearing teacher who had trained 
me. I was glad, also, that now, according to the cus- 
toms of our country, I had liberty to go out into the 
world, and indulge in all kinds of worldly pleasures 
and amusements; yet I went to Church at stated 
times, and took the sacrament of the Lord's supper. 
My parents told me I was a Christian; but with all 
this I was daily sinking deeper and deeper in sin, 
and became very active in the service of my master, 



the devil, and was little concerned about the salva- 
tion of my soul. When at times my conscience 
waked up to reprove me I would comfort myself with 
the reflection that I had been baptized and taken 
the sacrament. In this Avay I went with open eyes, 
instructed by the holy Scriptures, toward destruction, 
till my eighteenth year. 

At this time I lived in Maumee City, Ohio, where 
the Methodists and Presbyterians held a protracted 
meeting. I attended the meetings daily, but could 
not understand much of what was said; yet the 
power of the Lord accompanied the word preached, 
and I was awakened to see my lost condition. I 
went to the altar of prayer with the determination 
to give God my heart, and in some measure was re- 
lieved ; but I had no one to teach me in my mother 
tongue, and the English I did not understand sufii- 
ciently to derive much benefit from it. I joined the 
Methodist Episcopal Church; but now a storm of 
persecution commenced against me on the part of my 
parents and other Germans, and they did all in their 
power to bring me back to. my sinful habits. My 
father took me away to work on the canal, eighteen 
miles from the city, with the view of getting me away 
from Methodist associations. Here I was surrounded 
with the ungodly and profane — heard nothing of God's 
word, but profanation and blasphemy ; and, having 
myself not as yet a clear evidence of my acceptance 
with God, I gradually became indifferent, and neg- 
lected to pray. Ignorant of the means of grace, and 
having no encouragement from any pious person, it 
is no wonder that I yielded to temptation and again 
mingled with the profane and ungodly crowd. My 


conscience often reproved me, but I grew harder and 
more disposed to indulge in worldly pleasure till I 
was again wholly given up to the service of the ad- 
versary. Indeed, my condition was worse than be- 
fore ; for I became an enemy to all good people, and 
commenced to persecute and speak against the Meth- 
odists. I was once more a zealous Lutheran, and 
used every opportunity to persecute the Methodists. 
And in this opposition the Lutheran preacher and his 
Avhole congregation joined me. 

I now went to Methodist meetings with a view of 
persecuting the pious, and finding fault, and disturb- 
ing them in their devotions. This I did in ignorance 
and unbelief; but the Spirit of God would at times 
work powerfully upon my heart, reproving me for my 
sins, and sometimes it appeared to me that an audi- 
ble voice spoke to me, and told me I was wrong, and 
that I should not persecute the people of God. I 
sometimes felt that if I did not turn from my evil 
ways I would be lost. But when I asked the ques- 
tion, what must I do? the answer came, you must 
forsake your wicked associations and be willing to 
forsake all for Christ and for the glory of his cause. 
So strong were these impressions at one time, that 
I thought if 1 did not then resolve to turn to God I 
would be ultimately lost. I formed the resolution to 
repent of my sins, and began earnestly to read God's 
word and meditate upon its truths. It told me that 
I must be holy if I would see God in peace. I felt 
that I was unholy, carnally sold under sin, and unfit 
for the presence of a holy God and the society of 
the blessed. I went to a pious Methodist neighbor, 
two miles from my father's residence, who exhorted 


me to pray and seek earnestly for the salvation of 
my soul, and invited me to come to prayer meeting 
at his house. This I did, and was then informed 
that in three weeks there would be a German Meth- 
odist preacher there by the name of Riemenschneider. 
These three weeks was a time of mingled emotions 
of sorrow and of joy. I was sorry that I had gone 
so far from my Savior and was an unforgiven sinner, 
and joyful to think that God in his mercy had again 
waked me up to see my lost condition, and that there 
was yet mercy for me. I longed to see the arrival 
of brother Riemenschneider; and, as I looked for 
him at the appointed hour, my heart was filled with 
joy to see him. When he came to the house I ex- 
tended my hand, and as he took it I felt as though a 
dagger went through my heart. I said within myself, 
" 0, Lord, let this be the day of my deliverance !" 
Under the singing, prayer, and preaching I was 
deeply affected, and felt as though all the exercises 
were adapted to my case. The word appeared as a 
hammer to break my heart of stone, and as having a 
power to kill and make alive. Under the sermon so 
deeply was I affected that I could not contain myself, 
but wept and sobbed, and finally cried aloud for 
mercy. I arose in the congregation while the 
preacher was yet speaking, and asked the members 
to pray for me. The whole congregation were in 
tears, and they all kneeled down and prayed that God 
might show his mercy to me. Here I lay as a poor, 
helpless, condemned sinner. The enemy of my soul 
tempted me to believe that I had sinned away my 
day of grace, and that there was no mercy for me; 
and while I thought of this I cried to the Lord, " Is 


there no mercy for me ? then let me die at the feet of 
mercy.'" At this moment I remembered these words, 
"Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the 
sins of the world." If Jesus taketh away the sins 
of the world, thought I, he will surely take away 
mine, however great they may be. The Spirit of 
God still drew me nearer to the cross, and as I thus 
looked up with confidence to my blessed Savior my 
load of sins was suddenly rolled from me, and my 
heart was filled with the divine love. There was now 
no condemnation. I felt that I was a child of God 
and an heir of heaven. It appeared to me that 
heaven had come to my heart, and I arose and 
praised God for his mercy to me. 

This was on the 8th of April, in the year 1843. 
When I came home my mother said to me, "You 
look just as if you had got out of prison." I an- 
swered, "You have guessed it well, for about two 
hours ago my Savior delivered me from the bondage 
of sin, and I am now free." Both of my parents 
began to persecute me so much that I was compelled 
to leave home for Christ's sake. Yet, thanks be to 
God, who hears the prayers of his children, within 
five months my father and three of my brothers were 
converted to God, and soon afterward my mother was 
converted, so that I returned to my father's house 
and again worked for him. 

Not long after my conversion I felt a deep concern 
for the salvation of my countrymen, and especially 
when I saw their darkness and ignorance. I felt a 
strong desire to call sinners to repentance, and was 
appointed class-leader. This for a short time quieted 
my mind; but my desire was soon increased to do 


more, and to go out and seek those who were going 
astray from Christ. When I thought how dark and 
ignorant my own mind had been, I felt an especial de- 
sire to do something for them, and was willing to 
devote my whole life and all my powers of soul and 
body to this work. 

In 1845, two years after my conversion, I was 
called on to go out and labor in the Lord's vineyard. 
After close self-examination and prayer I determined 
to follow the openings of Providence and the call 
of the Church. In God's name I went, and while 
laboring in tliis cause I have seen many souls con- 
verted and brought to Christ. The thought of re- 
tiring from the regular work of a Methodist preacher 
makes me sad. May the Lord give me grace still to 
labor for him ! 





It had never been my intention to write any thing 
about myself; but, according to the request of Dr. 
Miller, I will briefly, and as precisely as possible, 
state a few things of my short history. 

I was born the 23d of May, 1825, in Germany. In 
the year 1830 my parents, with their three children, 
of which I was the oldest, moved to America, and 
settled in Belmont county, Ohio, in a German settle- 
ment. Here their whole attention was directed to the 
things of this world, and they appeared to think but 
little of the salvation of their souls. On the SabT 
bath, in the forenoon, they went to the Lutheran 
Church, to which they belonged ; and the afternoon 
was spent in visiting, hunting, or going to the- tavern. 
In these pastimes the minister not unfrequently took 
part, and with the members of his Church emptied 
the glass, and often went staggering to his house. 

Once a year it was customary to go to the sacra- 
ment, with a view there to obtain the pardon of sin 
and a reconciliation to God. Of true experimental 
religion there was nothing said, much less possessed. 
I knew of none among those Germans who lived there 
that were acquainted with the power of religion. It 
was " a valley of dry bones." In this condition the 


German Methodist preachers found us when, in 1837, 
they came among us to preach repentance, faith, and 
conversion. Some were aAvakened and converted, and 
joined the Church, and commenced to lead a new life. 
This waked up the Lutheran Church, and they saw 
that unless they obtained another preacher, the Meth- 
odists would take from them all their people. They 
dismissed their preacher and called another, who now 
entered the field with all his might against the Meth- 
odists, and warned his people to be on their guard 
against the false prophets. He often visited my 
parents, for my father was an elder in his Church, 
and warned them with all earnestness against the 
Methodists, as deceivers and enthusiasts, and to go to 
them would be nothing less than to renounce the faith 
of their fathers. But his arm was too feeble to stop 
the work of the Lord. One after another was con- 
verted, among whom were some of our relations. 
These came to my parents and told them what they 
had experienced in their hearts, and exhorted them 
also to seek their salvation. But the prejudice of my 
parents was so great that they did not wish to hear 
any thing from them. 

The Testament — for we had no Bible — and a vol- 
ume of sermons were now faithfully examined, and 
every passage that spoke of deceivers and false 
prophets carefully marked ; and when the Methodists 
came, these passages Avere shown them, and they were 
told that they were the persons spoken of; and often 
half the night Avas spent in conversations on religion. 
The more they conversed A\'ith Methodists, the more] 
were they convinced and made uneasy. Finally, they 
were fully convinced of their lost condition, and saw 


their dangerous state. Still they were not willing to 
trust the Methodists fully ; however, the Lord directed 
all to his glory. Brother E. Riemenschneider held a 
meeting in 1839, one mile from our house, in the 
evening. My mother attended this meeting. After 
midnight we all went to bed, though she had not yet 
returned. About two o'clock she came, and, having 
awakened us, told us that the Lord had pardoned her 
sins, that she felt an inexpressible joy in her soul, 
and that now she firmly believed the Methodists to be 
the people of God. My father now fell into a deep 
godly sorrow, and could not rest day nor night. He 
often went five miles over bad roads to attend the 
Methodist meeting, and seek the prayers of the 
Church. Finally, after three months seeking in this 
way, the Lord had mercy on him and blessed him 

As I grew up I was very wild, and possessed of a 
bad disposition. I spent the Sabbath in sinful pleas- 
ures, thus laying a dangerous foundation for the fu- 
ture. Had not God delivered me, I might perhaps 
at this time be in perdition. I drank in the preju- 
dices previously possessed by my parents against the 
Methodists. The preacher who catechised and in- 
structed us endeavored to fill our minds with prejudice 
against the Methodists. I hated them from my heart, 
because I believed they were bad people. I was dis- 
pleased when my parents were converted, and could 
not bear to be called a Methodist ; and if any of my 
schoolmates called me by this name, I was immedi- 
ately ready to fight. I continued to visit the preacher, 
and was to be confirmed in a short time ; but God or- 
dered it otherwise. In 1840, in the fifteenth year of 


my ago, I was awakened under the preaching of 
brother Riemenschneider. For two weeks I felt the 
load of my sins heavy upon me. I wept and prayed, 
and called upon the Lord in my distress, and often 
went from eight to ten miles to Church. No weather 
was too bad, and no difficulties too great. I desired 
to have peace with God, cost what it would. 

Finally, at a meeting where brother Riemen- 
schneider was present, I was enabled to believe on 
the Lord Jesus Christ, to the pardon of my sins. 
what joy and happiness I experienced then! It was 
a glorious hour, of which I hope to have a joyful 
recollection in eternity. 

Having examined and weighed the matter for my- 
self, I joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, which 
step I have never regretted. Several months after 
my conversion I went to Cincinnati, where I learned 
the art of printing, in the office of the Christian Apol- 
ogist. During my stay there I attended closely to 
my religious duties, and found my greatest joy in the 
society of the children of God, and always felt un- 
happy when I was detained from the house of the 
Lord. I am under many obligations to the Sunday 
school, in which I was first a scholar and afterward a 
teacher. The faithful exhortations of brother Nast 
made a deep impression on my mind. Also the 
brethren, Adam Miller and William Ahrens, who had 
charge of the mission in Cincinnati during my stay 
there, did not neglect the lambs of the flock. With 
fear and trembling I took charge of a class in my 
seventeenth year. It was a heavy cross for me, but 
the Lord helped me to bear it. When my four years 
of apprenticeship had passed, I remained some time 


in Cincinnati, and then visited my parents, witli wliom 
I staid a year. I then returned to Cincinnati, with a 
view to work at my trade. 

I had often felt that it was my duty to devote my- 
self wholly to the work of the Lord. When I arrived 
at Cincinnati I went to brother Nast, who told me that 
he believed it was not the will of God that I should 
be setting these dead letters, but to be sending living 
epistles into the world, and added, "I believe the 
Lord will employ you in his vineyard." This was 
quite unexpected to me, and I began to make some 
objections. He and brother Doering advised me to 
return home and await the leadings of Providence. 
After a severe conflict of mind I followed their ad- 
vice. The brethren in the Monroe mission gave me 
license to preach. I continued to see more clearly 
what was the will of the Lord concerning me, and re- 
solved to give myself wholly to his service. In 1846 
I was received into the Ohio conference, and have 
reason to believe that so far my labor has not been 
altogether in vain in the Lord. It requires a great 
deal of sacrifice to be a German missionary ; but, by 
the help and grace of God, I am willing to live and 
die in this work. 

Note.— Brother Nippert was sent as a missionary to Germany 
about eight years ago. He was supported there for several years by 
the Sabbath school of Morris Chapel charge, in Cincinnati. He has 
labored faithfully and successfully, and has been the means of lead- 
ing many of the German children in his natire land to the Sabbath 


I was born in the village of Bindsachsen, district 
of Budingen, grand duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt, on the 


ITtli of March, 1814. My parents, who were mem- 
bers of the Reformed Church, kept me constantly at 
school, and brought me up in the fear of God as well 
a,s they knew how. I went to different schools till I 
was sixteen years of age, and during that time lived 
a retired life. After I had left my parental home I 
became very wild, and found my happiness in noth- 
ing but merry-making and the dance. But with all 
that I thought myself a good Christian, and firmly 
believed that if any one would reach heaven I would. 
On the 25th of May, 1834, 1 left the father-land with 
my parents to go to America. Till then I had 
never heard of a religion of the heart; all the 
religion of the preachers as well as of the people 
consisted in some outward formalities of the Christian 
religion, which appeared fair to the eyes. I became 
acquainted with only four or five persons in Germany 
who, as 1 now believe, had been converted to God. 
On the first of August we landed at Baltimore, but 
moved thence to Zanesville, Ohio, where I often went 
to the German church, but without the least idea that 
I ought to be converted. 

On account of some business I went to Frankfort, 
Kentucky, and thence first to Louisville and afterward 
to New Orleans. Here I obtained, in the spring 
of 1836, a situation as surveyor, in which capac- 
ity I assisted in the location of a railroad from Port 
Hudson to Clinton and Jackson, Louisiana. While I 
was thus engaged I made much money, but at the 
same time sank deeper and deeper into the whirlpool 
of ruin. Alas ! if God had not held me back I would 
have been lost forever. I was very near to absolute 
infidelity ; only those impressions of the truth of the 


Christian religion ■which I had received in childhood I 
could not get rid of. At last an uneasiness which 
would not let me stay seized upon my mind, and no 
amount of money could have prevailed upon me to 
remain in that society. In August, of the same year, 
I visited my parents, brothers, and sisters, who, in the 
mean time, had removed to Beardstown, Illinois, and 
Avas providentially hindered from returning to Lou- 
isiana. During my stay I went from time to time to 
hear the German Evangelical ministers preach, and 
took great pains to find a good congregation ; but not 
one of those preachers told me that I must be con- 

In the spring of 1841 I became neighbor to a 
watchmaker, by the name of Heminghaus, whom I 
had always disliked most cordially, and whom by way 
of contempt, behind his back, I used to call the "Low 
Dutch saint," because he frequently held prayer and 
other religious meetings with his wife and three more 
Germans. I endeavored to find something that might 
justify the prejudice I cherished against him; yet I 
experienced from him nothing but that love which one 
neighbor manifests to another. At last he com- 
menced to visit me. Once on leaving he pulled a 
book out of his pocket — it was the Evangelical Or- 
dinance of Grace — and requested me to read it. I 
promised to do so, and went immediately at it. Then 
it was that God opened my eyes ; it was as if scales 
had fallen from them. I saw clearly that I could not 
stand thus before God. I began to pray that the 
Lord would direct and help me to save my soul. All 
this was done in secret, for I did not want any one to 
know what was the matter with me. I was resolved 


not to rest till I knew that God had pardoned my 
sins, for I knew of no greater treasure than this. At 
last, after a conflict that had lasted for weeks, my 
load grew so heavy that I did not know what to do. I 
disclosed, therefore, my feelings to my dear wife. She 
began to weep bitterly, and expressed her confidence 
that both of us were certainly good enough to get to 
heaven; at the same time she was afraid that my 
mind might become disordered. This, however, caused 
me no uneasiness. All that night I cried and prayed 
till, Avhen day began to dawn, the thought came up in 
my mind, " The light of the day has appeared again, 
but in thy soul there is still the darkness of night." 
Just then the day-star arose in my heart, the load of 
sin was taken away, and rest, peace, and joy came 
into my soul. 0, how happy I was ! 

But the enemy immediately tempted me, and whis- 
pered to keep quiet and not tell others of this. For 
some time he succeeded, and had almost deprived me 
of my sweet peace. This took place in the first half 
of November, 1841. On Christmas of the same year 
I went with my father, who had been awakened, for 
the first time, to the so-called " Low Dutch meeting." 
Great was the joy among the five children of God 
who were assembled there. At the conclusion of the 
meeting I offered my house — since it contained the 
most room — for the weekly meetings, where they con- 
tinued to be held for a number of years. From this 
time on my peace increased, and also persecutions 
and conflicts Avithin and without, but the Lord helped 
me out of them all. Although I understood but very 
little of the English language, yet I went to the 
meetings of the English Methodists, where I always 



felt liappy, and was abundantly blessed. At that 
time there were but few German Methodists in Amer- 
ica. The first German Methodist preacher that ever 
came to the state of Illinois had just begun a mission 
in St. Clair county, but this was more than one hun- 
dred miles distant from us. In February, 1842, I 
became a subscriber to the " Christian Apologist," 
which has been a dear friend to my family ever since, 
and will remain so as long as I live. By means of 
this paper I became intimately acquainted with the 
doctrines and usages of the Methodist Church. 

At last, in the month of August, 1842, after we 
had been reviled most shamefully, both in the 
pulpit and out of it, the Lord brought it about 
that the only Methodist preacher in the state paid 
us a visit, when nine of us — inclusive of my eldest 
brother and his wife — resolved to unite with the 
Methodist Church. 0, happy resolution, of which 
I never yet have repented, and I never shall ! I 
used to pray night and day, that the Lord would 
direct me aright, and preserve me from taking any 
step which might bring down his displeasure upon 
me. When I joined the Methodist Church the Lord 
granted me such strength that nothing could have 
prevented me from saying, " I will choose rather to 
suffer affliction with the people of God, than enjoy 
the pleasures of sin for a season." We remained in 
the English Methodist Church for two years, as there 
was a great lack of German preachers ; but we held 
our prayer and class meetings in German, brother 
Heminghaus being our leader. 

Till the winter of 1844 I never had any thought 
of becoming a preacher, although I oftentimes had 


felt as though I should like to bring all the world to 
Christ. It happened some time during this winter 
that I fell into conversation with a Cumberland 
Presbyterian preacher by the name of Downing, 
during which he suddenly said : " Brother Kuhl, I 
believe it is your duty to preach the Gospel to your 
German countrymen." I replied: "I can not do this, 
I am not capable, and I do not know how." He con- 
tinued : " I have often resolved to tell you that I 
think it your duty to preach, and never found a favor- 
able opportunity ; now, however, I will discharge this 
duty by telling you that you must do it." These 
words did not then take hold of my heart. A few 
moments after this conversation I hastened home 
to supper, in order to go in the evening and hear that 
good man preach. The evening preceding this one 
I commenced reading the biography of a noble Ger- 
man lady, who spent all her life and property in the 
service of God, but I became sleepy and put the book 
aside. Having reached home I spent the few mo- 
ments employed by my wife in setting the table in 
reading. Being curious to know what followed next 
after what I had read, I opened the book, and found 
that it was the question propounded to the lady, 
" What a preacher should do, if he had to preach and 
did not know what he should say?" Her answer 
was : " Let him go to Him who gave words to Ba- 
laam's ass, and he will furnish them to a preacher 
also." It struck me like a thunder-clap that it was 
my duty to preach. This conviction became stronger 
and stronger. Brother Jacoby, by a sermon on the 
text, " Thy kingdom come," poured oil upon the fire 
which was raging in my breast. 0, what anguish 



and terror filled my breast, and how often did my 
cries ascend to God, to give me light and direction in 
this to me all-important affair ! 

In the month of June, 1844, I received license 
to exhort, and in the fall brother Heminghaus was 
received into conference and sent to Mascoutah. 
Brother Peter Wilkins was sent to us as the first 
German preacher, and the work soon began to spread, 
more souls being converted one after another. In 
February, 1845, 1 was granted license to preach, and 
in May, when brother Wilkins, on account of ill-health, 
had to return to Ohio, brother Jacoby confided the 
mission to me. I labored in great feebleness on the 
Beardstown mission from May to September. Dur- 
ing this time eight souls were converted and thirteen 
united with us. This strengthened my faith very 
much, and was beneficial for me in later conflicts. 
By the conference which held its session at Spring- 
field I was sent to the Columbus-Street charge, St. 
Louis. Through the grace of God it was compara- 
tively an easy task for me to bid farewell to a com- 
fortable home and to flattering prospects for the 
future; for I had counted the cost very often, and 
the words, " Woe is unto me, if I preach not the Gos- 
pel," sounded too loud in my ears to be disregarded 
on any account. But it was very hard for my dear 
wife to tear herself loose ; the Lord, however, grant- 
ed her strength also, and she too took part in the call 
of the Lord. 

Full of fears and misgivings, but trusting in the 
Lord, I began my labor in the field to which I had 
been appointed. It was " full of dead men's bones." 
Two years full of troubles, conflicts, and cares rolled 



round very swiftly; but in them a church was built, 
ninety-one persons were received into membership, 
and a hundred souls, among which were many Cath- 
olics, were converted. A merciful God had preserved 
us from domestic cares. My second year in this 
charge was a succession of the severest inward con- 
flicts. I never either before or afterward had to 
suffer so much. The enemy seemed determined to 
thrust me out of the work, even suggesting that it 
was so exalted and divine that I was not fit for it. 
But the Lord ever stood by me, and at last command- 
ed the roaring billows to be still. Then there was 
a great calm, and there is yet a great calm. 

The conference of 1847 appointed me to Wash- 
Street charge, St. Louis. The Lord blessed my labors 
during these two years by the conversion of more 
than three hundred souls; during the first year a 
hundred and ninety, and during the second a hundred 
and twenty-five united with the Church on probation. 
The second year, when the cholera was raging fear- 
fully all around us, thirty-eight of my beloved flock 
were carried ofi". But God preserved both me and 
mine, and helped me to remain at my post day and 
night, with the exception of two or three days, and 
to point many a dying soul to the Lamb of God. 
Numbers of them found peace in their last hours. 

The conference held at Quincy in 1849, appointed 
me presiding elder for the St. Louis district. In this 
capacity I labored there for three years, and the good 
Lord helped us to achieve great victories. Then the 
district was divided into the St. Louis and Belleville 
districts, with two presiding elders. In 1852 I re- 
ceived for my field of labor the Missouri district, 


whicli, during the first year, embraced all the territory 
from St. Charles up the Missouri river to Kansas, 
Nebraska, and Iowa ; during the second year it com- 
menced with JeflFerson City. These two years were 
blessed years for my soul and for the work. About 
five hundred souls were converted, and the work was 
extended in all directions. 

I was sent to the Quincy district by the conference 
of 1854. It contained at that time eleven fields of 
labor and eight hundred members, which increased 
during the three years of my connection with it to 
twenty-three fields and seventeen hundred members. 

The conference of 1857 divided the Quincy district 
into the Quincy and Beardstown districts, of which I 
received the one embracing Beardstown. I have just 
finished my first year on this district. The Lord has 
thus far been with us and that to bless, and my soul 
feels happy in his service. My soul and body, time 
and gifts, are the Lord's, and I am resolved, by his 
grace assisting me, to spend my life in his service. 





I WAS born in the year 1819; was baptized and 
became a member of the Reformed Church while yet 
an infant. I was sent to school when I was six years 
old, and continued to go till I was fifteen. During 
this time many aspirations after the good filled my 
tender heart. I formed many excellent resolutions 
to live for God and his holy religion ; but, I am sorry 
to say, these feelings and resolutions disappeared 
imperceptibly in the course of time Avithout having 
been put into execution. The years of schooling and 
childhood passed quickly by, the day for confirmation 
approached, and I resolved again most solemnly fi-om 
the hour of confirmation to live for God and his holy 
religion. As the young people were accustomed to 
celebrate the day of their confirmation with dancing, 
ijI^ playing, etc., I determined to feign sickness Us soon 
as the ceremony of confirmation was over, in order 
not to engage with them in those wicked things which 
the Lord hates. But, alas, what blindness! In 
the first place, I intended to serve God in my own 
strength; and, secondly, I determined to tell a lie 
in order to escape being drawn into that which was 
sinful. Confirmation was over, and with it every 
good feeling and resolution left me. With eager 
steps I made haste to enjoy myself and seek pleas- 

JOHNBIEE. ^ 213 

ure and happiness in the perishable things of this 
world. Conscience often smote me; but I did against 
my better judgment that which displeased God, and 
hastened toward hell on the rapid stream of vanity. 

When seventeen years of age I came with my 
parents to this country, and settled in Pittsburg, 
Pennsylvania. Here too I lived in youthful levity, 
although I was still a member of the Reformed 
Church, till, while walking through the city on a winter 
evening in the year 1837, I accidentally passed the 
Methodist meeting-house. Persons of all ages were 
standing at the windows deriding and laughing at 
those in the house. Upon my inquiry as to what was 
going on — for I thought it strange that there should 
be mocking and derision at such a sacred place — I 
was told there was a woman in the church who wanted 
to be married, and a great many of the congregation 
wanted to marry her, and that they were now quar- 
reling about her. Curiosity led me into the church. 
I saw there a woman kneeling at the altar, and heard 
a man praying to God apparently with much ardor 
and sincerity. "Ah!" said I to myself, "these peo- 
ple must be of God, for they are singing and pray- 
ing; and those their mockers must be of the devil." 
The fear of God came upon me, and I again resolved 
to serve God with my whole heart. I took such lik- 
ing to these praying persons that, if they had been 
Germans, I would have joined them on the spot. 
Nevertheless, I continued as I had been before. 

In the year 1838 brother Nast came to Pittsburg, 
in order to gather a German Methodist society. My 
parents went to these meetings, and compelled me to 
go also. I was very much pleased with the religious 


exercises, but my heart was so full of the spirit of 
this world that as soon as I had left the house of 
God I was found where there Avas music and dancing. 
In these places I was generally a looker-on, with a 
disquieted heart and an upbraiding conscience. I 
resolved repeatedly never to go again, and kept this 
resolution for a good while ; but at the same time I 
went not to church. The news at last came that my 
parents and one of my brothers had united with the 
Methodist Church. At first I felt indignantly sur- 
prised at such a step on their part; but my com- 
posure returned when the thought suggested itself to 
my mind that every one must act for himself. Soon 
after this I learned that they had been converted. 
This intelligence caused me much joy. One evening 
I went with a comrade to the school-house, where 
brother Nast was preaching; curiosity to know who 
were there induced me to go in. Among other 
things, brother Nast said that if every one of his 
audience had all the sins which he had committed 
during his lifetime written on his back, so that they 
could be read by all, with what shame would he 
not hurry out of the house! "But remember," con- 
tinued he, " that on the day of final judgment all 
things will be made manifest," etc. I left the build- 
ing in deep study over what I had heard. When we 
had proceeded a considerable distance from the house 
my comrade remarked, "Listen how that Methodist 
halloos !" I answered, "Yes." Scarcely had I ut- 
tered yes, when I seemed to hear a call from God, 
" Be converted !" But I resisted God's Spirit. One 
evening when I was in the midst of a frivolous crowd 
the Methodists became the topic of conversation. 



One said this, another that, against these praying 
people, all of which was false and unfounded. When 
I was pointed out as the one who would soon become a 
Methodist, I replied that, even if all the inhabitants of 
Pittsburg should turn Methodists I would not become 
one. We also took counsel together in what dancing 
saloon we should spend New-Year's night. While 
we were conversing in this manner prayer was offered 
up in our behalf unknown to us. 

Next morning my dear mother came to me, ex- 
horted me to fear God, showed the necessity of spirit- 
ual regeneration, and invited me to come to their 
meeting. This I promised to do, and went there the 
same night. I was much interested by the singing, 
praying, and preaching. At the close the preacher, 
brother Hartman, invited those who repented of their 
sins to come forward, kneel down at the altar, and en- 
gage in prayer. At once the altar was surrounded 
with those that were crying to God for mercy. He 
came to where I was sitting, and, addressing me, said, 
"Dear young man, do n't you wish to be converted 
to your God while you are yet young? Behold, now 
is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation for 
you. Come go with me to the altar and consent to 
be prayed for." He took me by the hand. I fol- 
lowed him and kneeled down. While on my knees, 
surrounded by floods of penitential tears and fervent 
prayers, the tempter approached and whispered to 
me that it would be better for me to slip away 
through the aisle, unperceived by any one, and leave 
the house. Nothing but the reflection, what Avill my 
parents, what will the preacher think of me if I 
should do so? prevented me. In the same manner 


Satan tempted me twice again, but still more griev- 
ously than the first time. But I resisted him. Then 
the suggestion came into my mind, what will such and 
such persons say when they learn that I have been 
kneeling here? At last I resolved, I will remain, 
come what may; I have to look out for myself; I 
have a soul to save. I commenced then to pray, 
" Lord, give me understanding, enlighten me by thy 
Spirit, convert me, and I shall be converted indeed." 
I continued in fervent prayer till about eleven o'clock 
at night. My sins by this time had become an intol- 
erable load; but it seemed as though God would not 
hear such a sinner as I was. However, I went 
home praying — laid myself down praying, and lit- 
erally flooded the bed Avith bitter tears. I arose very 
sad next morning. Every thing I looked upon 
seemed to mourn with me, and I went about bowed 
down in spirit. A prayer meeting was held at my 
father's that afternoon, but when I looked at the 
people the thought came over me, I am the most mis- 
erable, not only of those here assembled, but of all 
men. When the first prayer was offered up the 
power of God overshadowed me to such a degree 
that, like Saul, I fell to the ground. The record of 
my sins was opened before me; all the iniquities of 
my life passed in review before me; conscience tor- 
tured me dreadfully ; and yet I had to say yea and 
amen to all its accusations. "Lord, I have deserved 
thy displeasure and wrath, but Jesus died for me.'"' 
Thus I presented Jesus as my surety; but with no 
pen can I describe how my soul trembled within me 
and what my poor heart suffered. 

After I had wrestled with God in prayer for three 


hours, my day of grace began to dawn. I felt the 
gentle breezes of the Spirit of God in my soul ; the 
voice of the Holy Ghost was heard in my heart, say- 
ing, " Son, all thy sins are forgiven thee ;" and the 
love of God was poured in copious streams into my 
soul. Rejoicing, I could shout and sing. Would that 
I could describe the joy that I felt when my soul was 
born again of God ! I was sure of the heavenly 
vision ; I knew what had been bestowed upon me by 
the Lord. All men in the world — nay, even hell 
itself — could not have made me believe that I had not 
received pardon for my sins; for the Spii'it of God 
bore witness with my spirit that I was a child of God. 
I experienced this blessed change of heart on the 
29th of December, 1838, at six o'clock at night. 
When I was called to supper, I felt neither hunger 
nor thirst. Full of joy I hastened to the evening 
meeting, and 0, blessed night, my soul was perfectly 
overwhelmed, so that for joy in the Holy Ghost I 
knew not what to do ; I was intoxicated with the rich 
mercies of heaven. That evening eight souls were 
delivered into the glorious liberty of the children of 

The report that I, too, had become a Methodist 
spread through the city. I commenced then to tell 
my comrades what the Lord had done for my soul. 
Some wondered at my words, others derided them, 
and still others put me in mind of what I had said 
not long before. A few, however, believed every thing 
I told them ; and, in this manner, it came to pass that 
those who heard me began to dispute over the words 
which I addressed to them. The Lord blessed my 

labors, so that those who before had been engaged 



with me in the vanities of this world, now began to 
serve God with me. I felt an irresistible call to de- 
vote myself to the ministry and the work of God; 
but it seemed to me to be too great and glorious an 
undertaking. It was for this reason that I told no one 
of the call of God's Spirit within me. Let me here 
remark that I had already felt, in early childhood, a 
great desire and longing to become a missionary, in 
order to proclaim the Savior of mankind to those who 
were ignorant of him. Shortly after my conversion 
I was made class-leader, much against my will. I put 
in my great youth as a plea, but it availed me noth- 
ing. The preacher confided to me a class five miles 
from the city. I pursued my way thither on foot, 
praying with a heavy heart, and a soul bowed down 
with anguish ; but, behold, the members of the class 
received me Avith open arms of love. I must say it 
was a heavy cross for me to exhort fathers and 
mothers ; but I commenced in the name of God. 
Slavish fear disappeared. I began to exhort, to con- 
sole, and to give advice according to the nature of the 
confession. We had blessed times, and sinners were 
awakened and converted to God. A short time 
afterward I received license to exhort, from brother 

I would like to relate in this place a strange occur- 
rence. When I was exhorter our minister called upon 
me to accompany him on a missionary tour ; I con- 
sented, and we started upon our journey on foot, in 
the month of April. It fared pretty hard with me on 
this my first missionary journey : in the first place, I 
was not used to travel on foot ; secondly, we could 
get nothing to eat, and hardly a place for lodging ; 



thirdly, I fell sick ; and, fourthly, we got lost in the 
wilderness. At last, after three days' hard travel, we 
arrived at the place of our destination. Our country- 
men received us kindly. Brother H. preached once, 
and then left this wild region. I Avas invited to stay 
some days, in order to hold prayer meetings, which I 
did. One very clear moonlight' evening Ave went to 
the house of our nearest neighbor to hold there a 
prayer meeting. I distrusted the dilapidated build- 
ing, and did not like to go in. The people assembled ; 
I read a portion of the word of God by the light of a 
wood-fire, after which we sang. While we Avere kneel- 
ing around the fire and engaged in prayer, the chim- 
ney, which was made of brick, tumbled down, together 
with one-half of the house. It was a perfect miracle 
that no one Avas hurt. The ruins were cleared aAvay, 
I mounted the heap, commenced to speak, the power 
of God came down upon us, and a general awakening 
was the consequence. 

Oftentimes the brethren would turn the conversa- 
tion upon the calling of ministers, in order to learn 
Avhether I did not feel an inward call to the ministry. 
But I disclosed nothing of the desire of my heart ; 
till at last, one evening, brother Callender, with whom 
I went home after meeting, called upon me to tell 
him, before God and my own conscience, whether I 
had not a call from God to go out and preach the 
Gospel to my German countrymen. He reminded me 
of the consequences of disobedience and resistance. 
I felt that I was caught. I therefore opened my heart 
to him, and he enjoined me to resist no longer, but to 
follow the gracious guidance of God. Shortly after 
this I was recommended to the quarterly conference 


for license to preach. "When the recommendation 
was read out I began to tremble and shake, and being 
called upon to withdraw, in order that the brethren 
might deliberate upon it, I besought the Lord that he 
would frustrate their design. But this time my prayer 
remained unheard. Having been called in, the pre- 
siding elder, brother M. C. Henderson, informed me 
that the members of the quarterly conference had re- 
solved to grant me license. Immediately after this 
calls to take the field, and work for the glory of God 
and for the salvation of precious immortal souls, came 
pouring in upon me from all quarters. On the 29th 
of October I received license, and on the 15th of 
November, taking leave of my dear ones, I left for 
Maysville, Kentucky. Here I commenced, with much 
fear and trembling, the labor which the Lord had laid 
upon me ; but my efforts were blessed by Him, for 
sinners were awakened and converted. We had to 
suffer here most violent persecutions, of which I will 
give only one instance. Lutherans and Catholics had 
united, in order to stone us Methodists to death. 
They broke the doors and windows of the building in 
which we were assembled, and pursued us on our way 
home with brickbats. One brother was struck so se- 
verely on the breast by one of these missiles that he 
fell down insensible, and was disabled from work for 
a considerable time. The authors of these outrages 
were delivered into the hands of justice. But it 
would require too much room to relate my whole ex- 
perience. I shall add, very briefly, only a few of the 
more remarkable conversions. 

In Williams county, Ohio, lived a man who was a 
member of the Catholic Church, and who opposed the 


Methodists most violently. I invited him once to 
come to our meetings; but he refused, saying that he 
had no time, and that he would not go to a Methodist 
meeting, even if five hundred oxen were pulling at 
him. A few days after he came to our love-feast, not 
one ox pulling at him. Several members of our 
Church, who formerly had been Catholics, related the 
history of their conversion. His heart was touched, 
and his eyes ran over with tears. He staid to preach- 
ing. During the sermon he felt as if he was in pur- 
gatory; after preaching he came to the altar and 
asked all God's children to pray for him; and, when 
the services had concluded, he came to me and said: 
"Brother Bier, if you think me worthy to become a 
member of the Methodist Church I will give you now 
my hand and my name, and shall try to give my whole 
heart to God." He was received, and became a whole- 
souled Christian. 

In Perrysburg, Wood county, Ohio, a Catholic wo- 
man was awakened and converted to God. This sis- 
ter was persecuted very much. But when the priest 
called at her house to expostulate with her, she told 
him that she knew the Roman Catholic religion to be 
false ; that she was now a Methodist, and would strive 
to be a good Christian ; that he had better go home 
then, and keep perfectly quiet. Many more Catholics 
also were awakened and converted to God, and con- 
fessed freely what Jesus had done for their souls. 

There was a young man of about twenty-three 
years of age, in Sandusky City, Ohio, a member of 
the Lutheran Church, who used to protest most vio- 
lently that he would not go to a Methodist meeting, 
and that he Avould not be converted till the trees in 


the forest had turned upside down; that is, struck 
their tops into the ground and reared their roots aloft. 
It was not long, however, before the Lord, by his 
Spirit, commenced the work of grace in his heart ; he 
came to our meetings, and wept and mourned on ac- 
count of the load of his sins. He was converted and 
joined our Church, but the trees have yet the same 
position as in former times. 

In the city lived an old man, an elder in the Lu- 
theran Church, whose son, seventeen years of age, 
was a praying Methodist. For this cause the father 
drove him from his house. He took leave of parents, 
brothers, and sisters, with the words, " I will pray for 
you !" The Lord heard the prayer of the son. On 
Sunday the father came to our Church, was awakened, 
and, without being invited, came to the altar, begging 
the congregation to pray for him as a poor sinner, 
which request was acceded to on our part most gladly. 
On the Sunday following the Lutheran minister de- 
prived him of his office, and expelled him from his 
Church, because he had once only been in the Meth- 
odist meeting, and had requested to be prayed for. 
This course on the part of the minister pleased the 
old man very much; he took leave of the members of 
the Lutheran Church and united with ours. Of course 
his son was now allowed not only to return home, but 
to go to meeting, to sing and to pray as much as he 
pleased. The father and the whole family were con- 
verted, and determined to love and to serve God. 

0, Lord ! keep by thy grace all those whom thou 
by thy Spirit hast called unto a new life, and manifest 
thy judgments to those that have not yet known them! 




When I look back upon my past life I can not but ex.- 
claim, with the Psalmist : "Bless the Lord, my soul, 
and forget not all his benefits !" And so I will also 
offer unto God thanksgiving, and declare his goodness 
with a joyful heart. 

I was born and brought up in the Roman Catholic 
Church, and early instructed in its principles and its 
usa2;es. The most that I learned of relicfion con- 
sisted only in knowing how the ceremonies of the 
Church were to be observed ; as how to kneel in pres- 
ence of the priest, and with what kind of words to 
address him in our approach to him ; how to sprinkle 
ourselves with holy water when we went into the 
church, and how to make the sign of the Cross ; how, 
during the reading of mass, we were to be especially 
attentive to the priest in order to fall upon our knees, 
or rise to our feet, at an intimation from him; and, 
also, at the proper time to repeat the prescribed forms 
of prayer; how to conduct ourselves in the confes- 
sional, and prostrate ourselves before him; and, what 
is worse still, to call upon him for absolution from our 
sins, confessing them in regular order, according to 
number, name, and kind; and what could be merited 
by good works, and how these good works could be 


transferred to the account of our friends in purgatory ; 
and "what especial service the departed saints could 
render the pious on earth. These are some of the 
superstitions of the Church. I lived after the cus- 
toms and forms of the Romish Church, yet not so 
scrupulously as many others. The reason of this 
was I was very fond of reading, and I had good op- 
portunities to do so, as my father had a large library ; 
but the Bible, the best of all books, was not there. 
My desire to read different works induced me, when 
I visited other families, to take their books and read 
them, and when I came to a Protestant family and 
could find a Bible, I ahvays took it and read as long 
as my time would allow me to do so. In this way I be- 
came acquainted with God's word, and was convinced 
that the religion in which I had been instructed was 
not Scriptural, and therefore did not observe every 
thing so punctiliously as I was directed. 

After I reached my twentieth year I emigrated to 
America. When I came here I availed myself of the i 
liberty which this country offered me, and went to the 
Protestant Church as often as to the Romish. Thus I 
Avas more and more convinced of the errors of the 
Romish Church, and formed the resolution to leave it, 
and so I lived five years without being a member of 
any Church, and cared very little about religion. I 
occasionally heard a sermon, but went away without 
thinking much about it. But, with gratitude to God, 
I can say that he followed me by his restraining 
grace, and I often felt condemnation in my own 
heart, and often thought seriously on death and a 
future judgment. But then Satan came with his 
temptations, telling me that there was no danger, 


though I was a sinner and deserved eternal punish- 
ment. Yet I had done many good and meritorious 
deeds; and so withal I comforted myself with the 
mercy of God. In this way I lived some time. 

But, through God's word and the operation of the 
Holy Spirit, I was convinced that in this condition I 
would finally be lost, and often formed the resolution 
to repent. Now hear, dear reader, what I understood 
by repentance : I believed that the only thing neces- 
sary was to quit sinning and commence to live better. 
Of evangelical repentance, which includes a true sor- 
row for sin, I knew nothing. Much less could I have 
a proper conception of a true faith, which apprehends 
the merits of Christ and appropriates it to the peni- 
tent soul, and still less of the great change that passes 
upon the sinner when he is delivered from the bond- 
age of sin, and has the love of God shed abroad in 
his heart by the Holy Ghost sent to him. In a word, 
I did not know what it was to be born again. As no 
one can keep God's commandments, and lead a holy 
life by his own resolutions and in his own strength, 
so I could not, by constant effort, lead a better life 
than I had led for some time past. Yet, instead of 
making myself better, I became Avorse, and was 
making rapid strides toward destruction. I soon 
should have fallen into a worse condition if my mer- 
ciful heavenly Father had not come to my rescue. 
This he did; for, in the year 1842, brother Riemen- 
Bchneider came into my neighborhood and gave out an 
appointment to preach. He was the first German 
Methodist preacher that came into that vicinity. I 
went to hear him, and, in truth, I must confess that his 
first sermon made a deeper impression on my mind 


than any I had ever heard. After the third sermon 
I was fully convinced of my lost condition, and saw 
that in order to be saved it Avas not only necessary to 
commence a new life, but that the sinner must obtain 
pardon before he can be received into the fellowship 
of the blessed and holy; and to obtain this the 
preacher pointed me to the Savior of sinners — Jesus 

I began to pray in secret, but for some days I 
feared to pray in public. Now learn, dear reader, 
how I was induced to commence praying in public. 
One day my old mother came to me, and as she saw 
me she commenced to weep, and said to me, "Alas! 
what is this that I hear of you?" "What, then?" I 
asked. "Why, your brother-in-law and your sister 
are going to turn Methodists, and they say you are 
going too." I answered, " On this account you need 
not weep; I am going to repent and turn to God, and 
so will my brother-in-law and my sister." Hereupon 
she replied, " I have heard that you intend to become 
Methodists." "Yes," said I, "this may become 
true." On this she wept more, and exclaimed in 
great distress, "0, God, what shall I do? 0, Jesus, 
0, Mary, 0, Joseph! what must I, an old woman, 
yet live to see in my children? Alas! I have brought 
up lambs, and now they all turn into wolves." I tried 
to talk to her, and to explain to her the necessity of 
repentance and conversion, but she interrupted me, 
and told me that I must go to the priests, and to 
make confession and obtain absolution if I wished to 
amend my ways, and that I must not leave the Romish 
Church. This, I told her, I had already done. She 
replied, " Yes, and you have thus committed a mortal 


sin." In the mean time my "wife prepared dinner; 
and, as we sat down to it, my mother said in a taunt- 
ing way, thinking to embarrass or annoy me, " Well, if 
you are determined to be a Methodist you will have 
to pray before you eat, for the Methodists are such 
pious people they eat not without first praying; so 
you shall now also pray before you can eat." I 
replied, "Well, I will do this also." And this was 
the first time I ever asked a blessing at my table. 
Before we went to bed she commenced in the same 
way, thinking, no doubt, to break me down, and said, 
"The Methodists pray night and morning in the 
family." I answered, "And I will do it too." And 
this was my first family prayer. From that time out 
I never neglected to ask a blessing at my table or to 
pray in my family. 

About this time there were a number of others in 
our neighborhood who commenced seeking the Lord, 
and I took one step after the other in the way of 
life, and we all united in public prayer meetings, and 
thus I commenced publicly to call upon God for 
mercy. Now see in my case the fulfillment of the 
apostle's words : " All things shall work together for 
good to them that love God," or seek to follow him. 
My mother sought to keep me from the Savior by 
mocking and provoking me, but by this means I was 
driven nearer to the Savior. Perhaps it might have 
been some time before I could get along so far as 
to pray in my family if my mother had not driven me 
to it with her sneers and mockings. Before I pro- 
ceed with my narrative I will only remark that my 
mother was herself soon after converted to God. 

Prom the time when I commenced earnestly to seek 


for mercy I had to contend three weeks against un- 
belief and the enemy of my soul. For when the 
enemy saw that he could do nothing by comforting 
me with the suggestion that I need not fear, that I 
was not as great a sinner as many others, and that I 
was in no danger, he began to attack me from an- 
other direction, and said to me, " You need not look 
for the pardon of your sins ; your heart is not suffi- 
ciently broken up like the hearts of other penitents. 
See how they can weep while your heart is stili 
hard." And then he suggested again: "It is now 
too late ; had you commenced immediately when you 
discovered the errors of the Romish Church you 
might have obtained mercy, but not now." Against 
these assaults I constantly turned to God's word, 
leaning upon the promises there recorded to poor 
sinners, such as, "I have no pleasure in the death of 
the sinner; turn ye and live; as I live, saith the 
Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of the sinner, 
but that he turn and live." These, with many other 
similar promises, both in the Old and New Testae 
ment, encouraged me. 

But one morning I was severely tried. As I had 
prayed in my family and went to my work, the 
tempter came and led me into great darkness; so 
that I almost despaired of ever having my prayers 
answered. Unbelief pressed sore upon me, because 
I had to seek so long and found no rest for my soul. 
A voice seemed to whisper in my ear, "You can not 
come in any other way than you have come; and why 
has his mercy delayed so long? You are sorry for 
your sins, and hate them with an intense hatred. 
You have cast away all self-righteousness, and are 


depending alone for mercy on tlie atonement of 
Christ, You believe all the good promises of God's 
word, and still you have not the peace of God in 
your heart. It is not worth while to proceed any 
further." How sad did I then feel — eternally lost 
and no mercy for me ! My heart was ready to break 
with anguish at the thought of being forever lost. 
The world appeared to me like the valley of death. 
"0, wretched man," I exclaimed, "who can help 
me ?" I once more fell on my knees and wept and 
prayed, and again resolved not to stop seeking till I 
found mercy at the hand of God. At that moment 
Jesus manifested himself to my soul, and the word 
of comfort was spoken to me: "Be of good cheer: 
thy sins are all forgiven." Love for my Savior filled 
my heart, and gladly would I then have departed to 
be with him. This was in April, 1842. 

Soon after this brother Riemenschneider gave an op- 
portunity to join the Church. I was among the first 
that went forward to join, and in a short time I was 
appointed class-leader. In this office I continued 
four years, though I constantly felt myself urged to 
preach the Gospel. But I was not willing to yield 
to this impression, for the cross appeared too heavy 
for me; neither did I open my mind on this subject 
to any one, and I sometimes feared that I was 
deceived. But as I could not get rid of this im- 
pression I prayed earnestly to God that I might give 
myself up unto him ; that if it was his will I should 
preach his word the way might be opened for me 
without any effort on my part. This was done, and 
I have been permitted to see many of my countrymen 
come from darkness to his glorious light. May the 


Lord yet lead many thousands from the error of their 
ways to a knowledge of his grace ! I have had many 
a conflict since I started in this good work, but to the 
glory of God's grace I can say that he has hitherto sus- 
tained me, and I believe he will be with me to the end. 


In the year 1821, on the 11th of March, I was 
born in Hesse-Darmstadt. In my fourth year my 
mother was taken from me by death. In my early 
youth I felt something of the love of God, through 
the religious instruction of my father. In 1831 my 
father emigrated to America, with the view of freeing 
his five sons, of which I was the youngest, from the 
military conscription of Germany, and in this happy 
country to secure to them an abundance of earthly 
treasures. By our emigration I lost my good impres- 
sions, notwithstanding good instructions were con- 
tinued to me. 

My father settled in Bedford, Pennsylvania, where 
we remained five years. During this time I went 
regularly to the English Sabbath school, and here I 
obtained the greater part of my knowledge of Eng- 
lish. While I read the Sabbath school books, and 
especially those which gave an account of the lives of 
good persons, I again had a strong desire to be pious ; 
but, alas ! I never took a start in the good wa,y. This 
was owing to a want of family prayer and proper 
family influence, which I consider one of the best 
means to lead the youth in the way to life. My 
father prayed in secret, but not publicly in the family. 

In the course of five years my father moved to In- 
diana, to secure to himself a home. We had intended 

J. H. BARTII. 231 

to go to Indianapolis, but, on account of the impassa- 
ble condition of the roads, stopped at a place called 
Brandywine. Although we had only designed to wait 
for the improvement of the roads to enable us to pro- 
ceed on our journey, my father concluded to settle 
here. Accordingly he purchased property, and we 
made arrangements for living on our land. 

A Methodist preacher, by the name of Morgan, 
soon visited us, and there were none but Methodist 
preachers in this country. The summer passed away; 
and in the fall we were all prostrated by the fever 
common to that country. My father lay ill six weeks 
with the fever, and then died in the full triumphs of 
faith. During the whole time of his sickness he 
prayed earnestly ; and every morning when we awoke 
we could see him on his knees before his bed. 

A short time before his death he called us to his 
bedside and told us he had found peace with God, and 
commended us to our heavenly Father, saying that 
God would surely take care of us ; pronounced upon 
us his parental blessing, and departed in great peace. 

After his death we removed to Louisville, Ken- 
tucky, where my two older brothers lived. Here I 
went through my catechetical instruction, and was 
prepared for confirmation. In my confirmation I was 
deeply affected, and had I then had some one to point 
me to the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of 
the world, I might have been convei'ted ; but I went 
from the house with the delusive impression that the 
act of confirmation made me a Christian. My good 
impressions gradually left me, and I became careless 
and thoughtless about the salvation of my soul ; fond 
of going to theaters and place-s of amusement ; yet 


all the time the voice of conscience cried within, 
There is a God who will judge you for all you do. 
When I thought of death, judgment, and eternity, I 
was greatly alarmed ; and amid the giddy scenes of 
the ball-room and theater I was often deeply affected. 
I sought to drown these serious impressions in the 
wine-cup, and frequented many places of amuse- 
ment. The thoughts of resigning my body to the 
grave were all dreadful to me. 0, what a wretched 
condition to live without God and without hope in the 
world ! 

Finally, the report came that there was a German 
missionary in the city. I had often heard of mission- 
aries, but had never seen one, and my curiosity to 
hear him was excited. It was the venerable Peter 
Schmucker, and he preached in the Eighth-street 
Methodist Church. When we went to Church, the 
English service was not quite out. At its close the 
old man, in a winning voice, invited us to stay for 
German preaching. 0, thought I, what kind-hearted 
men missionaries are ! His whole manner indicated 
that he was a man of God. He took his stand in the 
altar, and gave out a hymn. I took a hearty part in 
the singing, and then the preacher kneeled down to 
pray ; I was not ashamed to kneel down too, as I had 
learned this in Sabbath school. He then took as his 
text these words, " Thy kingdom come," and com- 
menced to preach. His sermon was plain and pow- 
erful, and deeply affected me. I looked and listened 
with astonishment, and wondered how a stranger 
could be so well acquainted with the workings and 
feelings of my heart ; and then, for the first time, saw 
how sin had deformed my moral nature. I went 

J. II. BARTE. 233 

home with a heavy heart, yet glad to have made the 
acquaintance of so good a man as father Schmucker. 
After some time had elapsed, and I thought the old 
man was on his way to some heathen land — for I 
thought that missionaries were only sent to heathen 
lands — I went one day into a coffee-house to drink, 
and the bar-keeper showed me a paper containing a 
slanderous article agamst the Methodist German mis- 
sionary. I read it, and became indignant, and told 
him it was a lie, and that if the old man was still in 
the city I would go and hear him again. On the 
following Sabbath I was early on my way to the 
church. In the afternoon thev had a class meeting:, 
and all serious persons were kindly invited to attend. 
I went, and with great curiosity I waited to see what 
would take place. Finally, after prayer, one arose 
and went from one to another, giving them advice and 
encouragement, and when he came to me I was so 
affected that I could hardly get out the words, " I am 
a poor sinner." At the close of this meeting father 
Schmucker invited all who wished to forsake their un- 
godly ways, and to lead a new life, to come forward 
and give him their hand, and God their hearts. I 
thought of my broken vows and my past wicked life, 
and thought it was my duty to go forward, which I 
immediately did. Soon after this some one handed 
me a tract on the future judgment, and this so 
awakened me to a sense of my lost condition that I 
thought the wrath of God was suspended over me, 
and that the earth was ready to swallow me up for 
my ungodly life. I went to supper in the evening, 
but could scarcely eat for tears. I told my condition 
to my brother, who said, You must not delay, but we 



will go to brother Schmucker and make known jour 
condition. We came at the right time, for he was 
just holding a prayer meeting, and told all the seekers 
of salvation to remain on their knees, while the rest 
sang and prayed. I obtained no peace, but a deeper 
sense of my depravity. Often I lay on the ground 
in the night, and prayed to God for mercy ; and in 
the mean time I was taken very sick, so that all who 
saw me thought I could not recover. I had no fear 
of death, yet, at the same time, had not a satisfactory 
assurance of my acceptance with God. 

After my recovery there was a protracted meeting 
held in the city, where brothers Jacoby and Kisling 
helped brother Schmucker. There was an invitation 
given for seekers of salvation to kneel at the altar, 
Avhile the Church united in prayer for them. I at 
first was tempted not to go, but upon a second thought 
I concluded to go. My convictions were deepened, 
and from time to time I continued to go. I mourned 
because I had grieved the Savior ; but when I looked 
to him, my darkness passed away, and all around me 
was light. I felt that heaven was upon earth, and 
when I went out into the city all things appeared new ; 
for the first time I understood the words of the 
apostle, " Old things are passed away and all things 
are become new." 

After I had fully recovered my health my associa- 
tions were such that I had a good opportunity to 
grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Savior. I 
was soon appointed class-leader, and after some time 
was licensed to exhort. I held meetings in the coun- 
try, and to my astonishment large crowds came out 
to hear mc talk to them. My impression was strong 


* J. H.BARTH. 235 

that I should do something more than work at the 
trade which I was learning. In two years I received 
license to preach ; and six months afterward was re- 
ceived into the regular work in the Kentucky confer- 
ence, and from there transferred to the Ohio confer- 
ence, where I have since labored as a missionary 
among the Germans. 




I WAS born on the 19th of July, 1815, in the 
province of Westphalia, Prussia. I was instructed 
by a pious preacher in the Heidelberg catechism, and 
was early awakened to see myself a sinner, and that 
I must be converted. In this condition I remained 
for some five years, but could never feel or assume 
that I had obtained the pardon of my sins. 

When I was twenty-one years old I came with my 
father and brother to America. ■ We landed in Balti- 
more, and settled in Westmoreland county, Pennsyl- 

Here I at first felt like a lost sheep without fold 
or shepherd. I had read in Germany something of 
the Methodists in some missionary reports, and that 
they had done much among the heathen. This made 
a good impression on my mind. I also learned from 
the papers that there were Methodists in the United 
States. Soon after I arrived here I inquired about 
them, but the Germans where I lived said many 
things against them. I soon found that it was per- 
secution, and these reports did not diminish my con- 
fidence in them. I sought a home in a Methodist 
family; and though I could understand English but 
little, I was rejoiced to engage with them in family 


worship. They also invited me to go along with 
them to the church. Here I did not understand much 
except the name of Jesus, which sounds in English 
nearly like the German. I often prayed to the Lord 
that I might learn the English language soon, so that 
I might be profited by the preaching; and I soon 
made rapid progress, and in a short time could un- 
derstand nearly every thing that was said in English. 

There was a camp meeting held by the English 
Methodists near my residence. It commenced on the 
17th of September, 1838. Two weeks before this 
camp meeting the Spirit of God wrought powerfully 
upon my heart, so that by times I could neither eat 
nor sleep. In this condition I concluded to write to 
my old teacher in Germany, and open the condi- 
tion of my heart to him, but thought I would wait 
till after camp meeting. On Sunday morning at 
eleven o'clock I came to the camp-ground, where there 
were thousands of people assembled, and the scene 
of a camp meeting excited much astonishment in me. 
The sermon which I heard deeply afiected me. The 
preacher spoke in a plain and distinct manner, and 
I could understand him better than I could the rest. 
On Monday morning brother Wesley Browning, who 
was then stationed in Pittsburg, preached from 1 Cor- 
inthians xi, 29. This sermon was an especial blessing 
for me, and suited me as well as if some one had told 
him my condition. The word was accompanied with 
power to my heart. I was so affected that I retired 
to weep and pray. 

In the evening I left the camp-ground and went 
six miles off. After it was dark, when I was passing 
along the Monongahela river I began to sing, and now 


the sermon of brother Browning came fresh to my 
mind, and it appeared to me that I could see the cor- 
ruption of my heart, and the depth of my moral pol- 
lution. I sang a hymn, and was seized with a strange 
trembling. Tears streamed from my eyes ; I kneeled 
down to pray, and then arose and went still further, 
and kneeled down again; and as I imagined myself 
in sight of the cross, I exclaimed with the man in the 
Gospel : " Lord, I believe : help thou my unbelief." No 
sooner were these words out of my mouth than I felt 
that power from on high came down upon my heart. 

I had now no occasion to write for instruction to 
my old teacher. The love of God was shed abroad 
in my heart through the Holy Ghost given unto me. 
After this I felt inwardly moved to tell others what 
the Lord had done for me. I opened my mind to 
brother Browning, whom I regarded as my father in 
the Gospel. I told him I thought I was called to 
go to heathen lands to preach the Gospel. Brother 
Browning told me to follow the indications of Provi- 
dence and go where the way was opened for me. He 
also told me that the Methodist Church was about 
to send missionaries to the Germans of this country, 
and if it was the Lord's will I could labor among 

In the spring of 1839 I left Pennsylvania and re- 
moved to the state of Indiana, and resided over 
three years in Richmond, Wayne county. I attend- 
ed the Methodist meetings, but did not unite with the 
Church because I could not speak English well enough 
to visit the class meetings. Finally, by a good Provi- 
dence, brother John Kisling, a German missionary, 
was sent to visit us in Richmond. He preached there 

' JOHN PLANK. 239 

for some time, and I joined the Church under his 
encouragement and instruction. I commenced to 
preach to the Germans the word of the Lord, and I 
was blessed in the attempt. I have since spent many 
happy days and seen many souls converted to God. 
May his grace be with me to the end ! 


I was born on the 15th of August, 1807, in Zwing- 
enburg, Hesse-Darmstadt. In my fifth year I was sent 
to school, and in my fourteenth year I was confirmed. 
I had been so attentive to my catechetical instructions 
that I could repeat the articles of faith from memory, 
but had derived no benefit from them to my heart. 
I then went for the first time to the table of the Lord, 
and believed myself a good Christian. In this false 
hope I lived till my thirtieth year. For nearly fifteen 
years I never looked into the Bible, and was entirely 
controlled by a carnal mind. I was a stranger to 
God, and never called his name except when cursing 
and swearing. 

In the year 1829, on the 2d of August, I came to 
America; and as I lived mostly in newly-settled coun- 
tries I did not attend Church. When I began to 
understand English, I heard of the Methodists, but I 
heard only slanderous reports concerning them from 
the enemies of the Church. Yet I believed these 
reports, and was filled with opposition to Methodism. 
Notwithstanding I had gone on in my blindness, and 
depended upon baptism and confirmation, yet it 
pleased the Lord to show me a better way. As his 
love had not moved my stubborn heart, he took his 
chastening rod, and I was confined to a sick-bed for 


nine months. I was so ill that my physician one day 
expected me to die ; but the next day he pronounced 
me better, and told me that when he had left me the 
previous day he had no thought of seeing me alive 
again. When he had gone I began to think over my 
condition, and asked myself, if I had died, where I 
should now be ? I sought for the first time to ex- 
amine myself, and the more I did so the more I saw 
my unfitness for heaven. I now made a solemn 
covenant with God, that if he would spare my life 
I would serve him better than I had done. 

Of conversion I knew nothing, and my idea of a 
Christian was gradually to lay aside one sin after 
another ; but, alas ! as I gained in bodily strength so 
I also gradually forgot to keep my promises. 

About this time I removed to the northern part 
of Missouri, and had pretty much fallen into my old 
habits. Here it pleased the Lord to remind me of 
my covenant by confining me again to a bed of sick- 
ness for six months. My hard heart now melted into 
tenderness, and a struggle commenced. The Spirit 
of God on one side drew me to the Savior, and the 
enemy of my soul on the other hand was not willing 
to give me up. Scarcely had I formed the purpose 
to renew my vows to serve God before the enemy 
told me: "You have lied unto him once, and now 
if you promise again he will not hear you." After a 
long and severe conflict in my mind, I ventured again 
to call upon God. Not long after this I heard that 
there was to be preaching in the neighborhood, the 
first sermon that had ever been preached here by a 
German Methodist preacher. I formed the resolution 
to go, and thought if he could tell me what I must do 


to be saved, I would gladly receive the truth. Every 
word appeared to suit my case ; my heart melted like 
wax before the flame. After the sermon he gave an 
invitation to all such as wished to join on probation 
and put themselves under the watch-care of the 
Church. I was the first one that went forward and 
gave him my hand, when seven others followed, among 
whom was also my wife. And now the conflict com- 
menced once more between Satan and my soul, and 
if the Lord had not sustained me by an invisible 
hand, the enemy would have obtained an easy victory 
over me. Now I first began to learn that I must be 
converted. I began to pray in secret, but the more 
I prayed the more I saw my miserable condition, and 
came to the conclusion that instead of becoming free 
from sins I was growing worse. Satan tempted me 
by suggesting to my mind the doctrine of uncon- 
ditional election and reprobation, and told me I was 
one of the reprobates and would be lost do what I 
might, and so I discontinued to pray for three days. 
During these three days I was greatly tempted to use 
profane language, but when I went to class meeting, 
I heard a brother tell what temptations he had passed 
through, which were similar to mine. As I heard 
him tell his trials I formed the firm resolution to 
begin to pray again, and not to stop praying, and if 
I should be sent to hell I would go crying for mercy. 
I prayed earnestly and repeatedly, and depended 
too much on my prayers, instead of looking to Christ 
and depending on his merits. One Sunday in May, 
1841, as I was alone in my house reading the Bible 
and thinking on the precious promises it contains, I 
said to myself, How is it that I can not believe the^se 



promises? I laid the Bible on my chair, kneeled 
down and prayed the Lord to give me faith. I arose 
and took my Bible and began to read again. My 
eyes were filled with tears, but my heart was full of 
joy. I could cry out, "Praised be the Lord," for I 
felt that my burden was taken from me. But the 
tempter soon came and told me I was not converted, 
because I did not feel like shouting aloud as many 
had done, and so I went on doubting till a camp meet- 
ing was held some thirty miles from my residence, 
I went with the resolution not to return home till 
God should deliver me from my doubts; and I thank 
God that he did deliver me in a love-feast on the 
14th of August, 1841. So clear was my evidence 
that I have never doubted it, and this day I regard as 
the day of my spiritual birth. 

Soon after this I felt a deep concern for the salva- 
tion of my fellow-men, and a voice within me said 
that I must call upon them to repent. But I did not 
wish to harbor this thought, and believed that the 
enemy was tempting me to presumption, and that a 
man who preached must have passed through a regu- 
lar course of education for the ministry. Still I had 
no rest; and as I went on in this way for one year 
with these feelings of anxiety for the salvation of 
others, I finally opened my mind to a local preacher. 
He told me not to think that Satan tempted any one 
to preach the Gospel, and before I was aware of it 
this matter came to the ears of the circuit preacher, 
who exhorted me not to resist the Spirit of God. I 
received license to exhort, and soon endeavored to 
look after some of my German neighbors, and made 
an appointment to hold meeting among them. I 


prayed earnestly to the Lord to open my way and 
give me to know my duty. At my first appointment 
the Lord stood by me in a remarkable manner. 
While I talked to the people they were all melted to 
tears, and soon some of them joined the Church. I 
was recommended to the quarterly conference, and 
received license to preach on the 11th of February, 
1843. I commenced to preach, and not without 
some fruit. In 1846 I was recommended to the 
annual conference, and was sent to Bloomington 
mission, where the Lord blessed my labors. I have 
seen many brought home to the fold of Christ, and 
am still willing to lay my all upon the altar of the 


In August, 1840, I came, a student of law and a 
Roman Catholic unbeliever, to this country, not know- 
ing the difference between a Testament and a Bible. 
In Cole county, Missouri, I settled, and went occa- 
sionally to the Protestant meetings; for I had been 
informed by history of the great evil the Roman 
Church has done in the world. I lived till then but 
little concerned about religion. Meantime a Roman 
priest came into the settlement, and I truly desired to 
become religious. I went to the priest and confessed, 
but not being conscious of any mortal sin, according 
to Romish doctrine, I did not tell him any sin. After 
some trifling remarks of the priest, however, I ob- 
tained absolution, and partook of the sacrament — hav- 
ing said about half a dozen paternosters and ave- 
marys for penance, though without being any better. 
I still visited the Protestant, especially the Baptist 
meetings, and examined and searched all the books 


about religion in my reach. One "work, especially, 
"Thoughts on Popery," was of good service to me, 
and I became clearly convinced of the errors of Ro- 
manism. A great desire at the same time I felt for 
truth. Many prayers attended those desires, and a 
peace of soul often followed, which, perhaps, I never 
had experienced before. 

Nothing but Scripture would prove any thing sat- 
isfactorily to my mind. The behavior of the priest at 
his next visit, together with many other things, led 
me to the resolution to renounce Romanism, and, be- 
ing much in favor of baptism by immersion, to join 
the Baptists. At this time, in the spring of 1843, I 
went to live in Jefferson City. There I wont to the 
Baptist Church, and at a certain meeting, several 
preachers being present, invitation to mourners was 
given, and I, a poor sinner and a stranger to all, 
came forward to be prayed for. But only think of 
my utter surprise when I found out that I had got 
among the Methodists, who all this time preached in 
the Baptist meeting-house, having none of their own, 
and the Baptists having no preacher. I resolved to 
go no more ; but a little while after I found myself 
seated in my old place, being led there by a secret 
power. I asked for the Articles of Faith and Church 
Discipline, obtained and examined them, and joined 
the Methodist Episcopal Church in the city, then un- 
der the pastoral care of Rev. Thomas W. Chandler, 
now of the Southern Blinois conference. 

Soon after this I got into wicked company, and one 
night went to a drinking and dancing party. After 
I retired to rest, lo, there was no rest for me. 
Conviction and sorrow fell upon me, and I suffered 


the pains of hell and of a guilty conscience. I rolled 
and cried for deliverance, for rest, for sleep, and for 
peace with the firmest promise to almighty God never 
to sin again. I shall never forget it. After this I 
tried to serve God, and fell, without knowing it, in a 
self-righteous way, my religion consisting only in 
attendance on the means of grace, in the form of 
godliness without the power. By this time, in the 
fall of 1843, my wife, a Protestant, but not a pro- 
fessor, after a severe sickness, was called hence. 
Eternity then seemed to he opened before my feet. 
There w^as but one step between me and the dead. 
"Lord," I cried, "save, or I perish." I then be- 
lieved in the all-atoning blood, and the love of God 
was poured into my heart. Truly all things had be- 
come new to me. 0, thought I, how can any one 
neglect so great a salvation as this ? What a burning 
love I had for God and for my fellow-creatures ! 
Jesus was with me by day and by night, and this 
first and happy season of love continued many 

The next spring I heard the first German mission- 
ary. Rev, Sebastian Earth, preach. The time had 
come when I was to be admitted into full connec- 
tion of Church fellowship; but now I was so much 
troubled and tempted about the mode of baptism that 
I refused it for some time till I was convinced, both 
experimentally and understandingly, that it is the 
baptism of the Holy Ghost, and not of water, that 
saves the world from sin. Brother Chandler was a 
kind and helping father to me in those troubles. 
After this I was ofi"ered license to exhort; but it 
came so unexpectedly to me that I did not accept 


it till my mind had become right in this matter also. 
It was in Benton county, Missouri, that I first at- 
tempted to hold out the crucified Savior to sinners. 
Satan like a lion came upon me and tempted me that 
religion was all nothing. Fear and shame befell me. 
At last I thought that I was not converted myself. 
I went out in the woods, and upon the ground I lifted 
up my heart to God. There it was that a heavenly 
light, quick as lightning, broke in upon my soul, and 
before the mercy-seat of heaven I held on each of 
my hands one of those persons engaged in prayer 
for the pardon of sins. I went into the house with 
brother Barth, to whom I related Avhat I had experi- 
enced. Prayer meeting commenced, and erelong the 
power of the Holy Ghost came down upon us. Up- 
ward of thirty persons were struck to the floor, 
pleading with God for mercy. Many powerful con- 
versions took place, and my poor soul was so filled 
witl%a bliss of heaven and its realities that I was 
ready to take wings and fly away where Jesus is. 
Fear of death and hell had fled. I was saved — saved 
in the arms of the Lord. I prayed him to take me 
up, and if not now, to let me die in such a state. 

Several months after I came to the same place. 
The devil bufieted me again — suggesting that I was 
not called to preach. I prayed to God in the morn- 
ing, and as day broke I heard a loud voice speak: 
"Fear not, I have called thee." I arose, and brother 
Barth informed me that he was not well enough to 
preach, and I must do it in his place. I preached three 
times the next day, obtained license, and was recom- 
mended to the Missouri annual conference, where I 
was received in 1844, and appointed to the South St. 


Louis mission. I found twenty-three members there 
and the corner-stone of a church-building, laid during 
conference. I collected money to finish the base- 
ment for winter, where we then held our meetings, 
with the intention to finish the church the ensuing 
year, but was prevented by reason of sickness. At 
the close of my labor our numbers were doubled. At 
the Illinois annual conference, at Springfield, in Sep- 
tember, 1845, I was ordained deacon by Bishop Mor- 
ris, and appointed to North St. Louis station, con- 
taining about one hundred members. The Lord 
blessed us there with a glorious revival, and at the 
end of the year we numbered two hundred. I was 
ordained elder by Bishop Hamline September, 1846, 
at the Illinois annual conference, at Paris, and reap- 
pointed to St. Louis station. Our little church, built 
five years before, had now become too small. We 
therefore, in the spring of 1847, took it down and 
built a larger one on the same spot, which was dedi- 
cated immediately after the conference of 1847, when 
I was yet present in St. Louis. We had also during 
the year many precious seasons from on high. Many 
souls were converted, and our numbers increased. I 
had seen and experienced wonderful things. At the 
Illinois annual conference, in September, 1847, at 
Jacksonville, I was appointed to Milwaukie mission, 
and to visit in place of the presiding elder three times 
during the year Chicago, Galena, Dubuque, Jefi'erson, 
and Milwaukie missions. In Milwaukie I found seven 
members; but, thanks be to God! he has done good 
things for us here also. 




In the year 1836 I came to Wheeling, Virginia, and 
made my residence there. In Germany I had never 
heard any thing of Methodism, except through the 
manifold misrepresentation of the German Lutherans. 
Here I was induced to go to the church to sec what 
was going on ; but, thanks be to God ! I found things 
quite diiferent from what had been represented to me. 
I was induced to visit the church frequently, till 
finally, after a year and six months of my residence 
in Wheeling, God, through his infinite mercy, revealed 
his grace to me, a poor sinner, and worked repentance 
in my heart. I was brought to see my sins and my 
misery to such a degree that, at first, I could scarcely 
believe there was yet mercy for me. But the pre- 
cious Savior commenced the work of salvation in my 
soul, and he also brought it to a glorious consumma- 
tion. The preacher then stationed there was Rev. 
Wesley Browning, and in the spring of 1838, under 
his ministry, I was converted. After this I com- 
menced to speak to the people, and the Lord blessed 
my efforts. More were soon willing to go with us ; 
and at the next Christmas brother Swahlen came to 
us as missionary. God ' carried on his work glori- 
ously, and I began to feel it nay duty to go out and 


labor for God in his vineyard ; but I felt too weak, 
and for a -while strove against the call. There seemed 
to be many difficulties in the way ; but these were at 
length surmounted, and in 1841 I was licensed as 
local preacher. Though I had once refused to go, I 
felt that I must do my duty, and accordingly I started 
in the year 1844; since then the Lord has blessed 
my feeble efforts. 


I was one who served God after the tradition of the 
fathers, and knew nothing of that hidden treasure of 
which the Gospel speaks, till one of my friends in 
Louisville invited me to visit with him a certain 
church Avhere, as he told me, an old man by the name 
of Schmucker was preaching. I went one Sunday 
evening with him, and heard the preacher with much 
satisfaction. At the close of the sermon the preacher 
gave out a class meeting for the following Sabbath 
afternoon, and as I was quite a stranger to such re- 
ligious exercises, I was induced to go to the class 
meeting, more out of curiosity than from any other 
motive. Here, for the first time in my life, I heard 
the language of Canaan, which was like a joyful 
sound to my inner nature, till I was awakened as one 
from a dream, and began to see my sad condition as 
a sinner. After the meeting an invitation was given 
to all such as wished to seek the salvation of their 
souls, to join the Church, and I went forward and 
gave my name to the preacher, without knowing what 
Church I had joined till afterAvard they began to 
persecute me as a Methodist. But as I had once 
taken this people for my people, and their God for 


my God, I could not be changed in my purpose, for I 
felt more and more the necessity of being reconciled 
to God, and so my soul was drawn out to seek the 

I sought for weeks, with crying and tears, but 
found him not, and the reason was nothing but unbe- 
lief, till I finally exclaimed, in the anguish of my soul, 
" 0, Lord ! how long must I yet go about with my 
load of sins upon me?" Then I heard a voice whis- 
pering within me, " The blood of Christ was also shed 
for thee." In looking up to him by simple faith my 
hearrt was filled with joy, and my load of sins was at 
once removed. But soon doubts arose, and I lost all 
my joy; yet I thank God that he kept me by his 
power, and sustained me till I again heard my Savior's 
voice saying to me, " Be thou faithful unto death, and 
I will give thee a crown of life." 

Unfortunately, soon after my conversion, a book 
fell into my hands which distracted my mind and 
caused me much grief, and for some time led me 
astray ; yet I came to the Lord with earnest prayer, 
and he delivered me, and at the same time gave me 
such an ardent desire to labor for the good of my 
countrymen that I felt almost as great a struggle of 
soul as I had when I first sought the Lord. By pray- 
ing and seeking, the Lord finally let the light of his 
countenance shine upon me. Father Schmucker ex- 
plained to me how preachers were received into the 
Methodist Church, and made an appointment for me 
to exhort, which I did with great fear; and now new 
temptations came. The question of baptism agitated 
our society, and I became entangled in the discussion 
till I had again lost my peace and got out of the 


way. After these storms had passed over I was 
again united with the society ; and now the inward 
desire to labor in public for God's cause was in(?reased 
in me, and through our brother Schmucker I was ap- 
pointed to labor as colporteur in Louisville and Cin- 
cinnati. In 1842, in Louisville, I received license to 
exhort, and with my brother Philip I was sent to St. 
Louis, Missouri, where we labored with great success 
among the scattered Germans. 

This was the best school I could have had to pre- 
pare me for a preacher ; for wherever I could find a 
few scattered Germans I got them together, and ex- 
horted them, and prayed with them. Thus I was 
gradually delivered from my fears, and the love of 
God was kindled more and more in my heart, and 
under the teachings and encouragement of brothers 
Jacoby and Schreck I was strengthened in the work, 
and by their patience and kindness I was thus pre- 
pared for my future labors. Upon their recommend- 
ation, in the year 1843, I received license to preach, 
and was sent to Versailles mission. I went to my 
work with fear and trembling, but with confidence 
in Him who said, " All power is given to me in heaven 
and on earth ; and, lo, I am with you always to the 
end of the world." I soon found that the Lord was 
with me, and sinners were awakened and converted ; 
and in my first year one hundred souls were added to 
the Church, most of whom had been converted, and 
were happy in the Lord. 

I was returned to this mission the second year, and 
the year following was sent to Burlington, Iowa. 
There I was received kindly, and the English brethren 
gave me the basement of their church to preach in. 


Notwithstanding the opposition I first met with, I 
soon got a few children together and organized a 
Sabbath school, which soon drew a number of the 
parents. At the end of this year I was ordained 
elder by Bishop Hamline, and returned to the same 
field. My aim, ever since my first commencement in 
this work, has been to live a holy life, and to serve 
God with a humble and loving heart all the days of 
my life. 


In the year 1834 I migrated to America, with the 
view of becoming a wealthy citizen ; and, in order to 
attain this end, I exerted all my powers, and thus I 
was an earthly, carnally-minded man, without God and 
without Christ in the world. Notwithstanding I had 
received a religious training in my youth, I lived, as 
the heathens do, in all manner of ungodliness. I 
often took the sacrament in the Lutheran Church, and 
received absolution from the preacher, but received no 
pardon for my sins ; and, with all this, I remained in 
my sins and under the power of Satan, and was daily 
in danger of being finally lost. But God, who has no 
pleasure in the death of the sinner, sought me out by 
his good Providence and humbled me by his chasten-^ 
ing rod, for my heart was hardened and full of cor- 

In my sickness I promised God if he would allow 
me to recover, I would serve him all the days of my 
life, and he heard my cry and did not cut down the 
unfruitful cumberer of the ground. After I had made 
this vow unto the Lord, his Spirit convinced me of sin 
and showed me that there was no power in me to 


resist the corruptions of my depraved heart, and now I 
saw more clearly the slavery and thralldom of sin. I 
then went to Cincinnati, and heard that there were 
German Methodists there. I attended their preach- 
ing, and also went several times to their class meet- 
ings; but here I felt my sins like mountains on my 
heart, and fear and trembling seized me as I heard the 
children of God tell of Jesus and his grace. I left 
the meetings and again turned my heart toward Sod- 
om; but the good Spirit followed me, and I again 
went back to meeting, and from four to five months I 
was under deep awakening. The enemy often tempted 
me sorely, yet I continued to pray with strong crying 
and tears before a throne of grace; and I thank 
God, that after a long struggle against the powers 
of darkness, Jesus shone into my heart as the 
bright morning star — joy and peace sprang up in 
my soul, and I could say, "My Lord and my God." 
This peace I received at the hour of midnight, and 
on the next day I declared what the Lord had done 
for my soul. 

In my Christian life I have passed through severe 
trials and temptations, and especially since God has 
called me to labor in his vineyard; but his grace is 
sufiicient for us. My desire is to be wholly devoted 
to the Lord, consecrated to his service, that I may not 
finally myself become a castaway. 


In the year 1833 I was awakened under a sermon 
preached by a brother Windin, in Alleghany county, 
Pennsylvania, and immediately I had a desire to 


obtain an evidence of my acceptance with God. But, 
as I could not speak English, and as I wanted to find 
some Germans with whom I could converse on the sub- 
ject of religion, I removed to Monroe county, Ohio, 
where there was a large German settlement. Here I 
had expected to find some pious Germans; but, alas, I 
found none ! not even one ! 

By good fortune there was an English Methodist 
preacher in this neighborhood, whose ministrations I 
attended. As he always preached earnestly, though 
I could not understand him, I felt the power of his 
words in my heart, and continued to feel more sensi- 
bly the load of my sins pressing me down. When 
the minister saw my embarrassment he sent for a local 
preacher, who could speak some German, to come and 
converse with me. He prayed for me, and pointed 
me to the Savior in my own language. For three 
weeks I continued in great distress of mind. My 
neighbors persecuted me, and said my mind Was de- 
ranged, so that my wife was afraid of me. My sor- 
rows continued to increase, and I wept day and night, 
mourning over my sins. At last it pleased God to 
deliver me from my sorrows. It was on the fourth 
of February, 1836, when the Lord revealed himself, 
in great mercy, to me, while I was praying to him in 
the open field. Then I found pardon in the blood of 
the Lamb. The Lord filled my heart, and the love of 
Christ constrained me to tell my neighbors what the 
Lord had done for me. Three years after my conver- 
sion I consecrated myself more fully to God, and found 
that holiness which the Gospel demands, and without 
which we can not see the Lord. 

I have labored a number of years as German mis- 


sionary, and have had many happy seasons. My 
prayer is, that the Lord may keep me humble, and let 
me feel more and more my own unworthiness and his 




I "WAS born in Kurhessen, in 1814, and brought up 
in the Reformed Church according to the customs of 
the country. I was deeply awakened several times in 
my native country, but had no one to teach or lead 
me in the right way, and therefore continued to live 
in my sins as did others. On one occasion we were 
reading our Lord's sermon on the Mount, and our 
teacher in giving us an explanation of it said to us : 
"Children, if we are indeed required to live as strictly 
as this sermon of our Lord seems to demand of us, I 
know of no one in all our country that will be saved; 
yet I believe the Bible was only written to keep us 
from outbreaking sins." These instructions of my 
teacher inspired in me a false hope, in which I lived 
for some time. 

In the year 1836 I left my native land for America, 
with a view to lead a better life, and thought I would 
commence to do so on the ship. At first I supposed 
that all on board must be very pious or the ship would 
surely sink, but when I saw the ungodliness of the 
crew, and the ship still riding safely over the waves, I 
began to conclude that the Lord after all would not be 
so strict Avith us, and so I grew careless again. 

When I left home an old man made me promise to 


repeat the Lord's prayer as soon I set foot on Ameri- 
can soil ; but when we landed in Baltimore I was sur- 
rounded bj a large crowd of people, and I could not 
bring myself to fulfill my promise. From Baltimore 
I went to Wheeling, where I found employment; and 
for the first year after my an'ival I repeated my pray- 
ers, night and morning, such as I had committed to 
memory in childhood. Then I became associated 
with scoffers of religion, and entirely quit my prayers, 
grew worse and worse till I became a doubter of the 
truths of the holy Scriptures. I was employed in a 
grocery where whisky and other strong drink was 
sold, and I became somewhat addicted to drinking. 

In this condition I continued till the year 1839, 
when I was visited by brother Riemenschneider. He 
had formerly been an associate of mine in Wheeling, 
but had gone to Pittsburg some six months previously, 
and there had heard brother Nast preach, and had 
been awakened and converted. When he returned to 
Wheeling and called upon me, I began with my fool- 
ishness, as on former occasions, for I delighted in 
causing people to laugh, and was accustomed to write 
down all kinds of silly jokes, so that when I met my 
comrades I might read them and thus excite their 
mirth. On this occasion, when brother Riemen- 
schneider visited me, I began in my old way, but he 
soon looked very serious at me, and said, " Phetzing, 
I can not hear such stuff as that, but if you will go 
to prayer meeting, come with me." These words so 
affected me that I did not stop to read what I had 
written, but went home and threw the paper into 
the fire. 

Much as I was affected I still hated the thought 


that my friend Riemenschneider had hecome a Meth- 
odist, for I despised the name. I went into my room 
and drew a picture of the devil, according to the best 
idea I had of his appearance — with horns, tail, and 
fearful claws. When I had finished my picture I was 
strangely affected, so that Avherever I went that fear- 
ful image moved before my eyes and I could not get 
rid of it. A voice within whispered to me, " Such a 
devil will finally get you if you do not repent." 
And this impression became so strong that it tor- 
mented me. 

Soon after this I went into a house of one of the 
Methodists on Sunday, and was invited to go to the 
class meeting. Brother Swahlen led the class, and I 
was astonished at the narration of rehgious experi- 
ences given by the members and at the exhortation 
of the preacher ; but trembled from fear that he would 
come to me also. He finally approached me and said, 
"Young man, are you also willing to flee from the 
wrath to come?" I was offended at his question, and 
thought if I said yes they would consider me one of 
their members, and if I said no they Avould think I 
was determined to go to destruction. The preacher 
extending to me his hand, I hesitatingly took it, and 
said, "Yes, I will flee the wrath to come." I became 
very much affected ; so they kneeled down and prayed 
for me, and at that class meeting I joined the Church. 

At night I returned to the store, where I slept, 
and thought I would take my usual evening dram; 
but as I was about to do so I recollected the expres- 
sion of a sister, whom I once heard say that if we 
had temptations to do any thing wrong we should 
immediately fall down on our knees and pray to God 


for deliverance. I followed this advice, kneeled down 
and prayed, and for that time gained the victory. 
But the next morning the struggle came again. As 
the customers came in, and I had to fill their vessels, 
and the fumes of the liquor arose from the barrels, 
I had a strong temptation to drink; but I went to 
prayer as I did the evening before, and the Lord 
gave me the victory again. And I had that day 
such a distaste against strong drink that I was never 
tempted to taste it afterward, although for some time 
longer I continued to deal it out. One day as I was 
rolling up a number of hrandy casks, I involuntarily 
commenced preaching to them; but soon became 
alarmed, and thought. I had committed a great sin, 
and kneeled down among them, and prayed God to 
pardon this sin. On account of my business I could 
not attend the meetings regularly. Yet I continued 
to read my Bible and to pray in secret at every 

About this time there were a number converted to 
God, but I was still unconverted. One Sabbath I 
locked myself up in my room and resolved to read 
seven chapters out of the Bible and pray seven 
times. After I had done this I arose from my knees, 
sprang up, and went away doubting the truth of 
religion. A narrow escape from death by the dis- 
charge of a loaded pistol, which I was handling, 
brought me to my knees again, and I thanked God 
that I had not been sent into eternity in my hardened 
and unbelieving condition. I began anew to seek the 
salvation of my soul, and so continued for six months, 
when I again became impatient and unbelieving, and 
threw the Bible from me, thinking I would not read 


it again. Plappening, however, to pick it up as it 
lay open before me, my eyes fell upon these words, 
" I will show him how much he must suffer for my 
name's sake." Acts ix, 16. These words brought 
tears from my eyes. I took the Bible, pressed it to 
my heart, and said, " I will read this book and follow 
its directions, and rather go to destruction a penitent 
seeker than go back and become hardened again." 
With this determination I continued some weeks, till 
one Sunday morning, when I read "Arndt's True 
Christianity." After I had read a while I kneeled 
down and prayed ; and while I was praying the Lord 
appeared to my soul and delivered me and gave peace 
and pardon, and on the same day I went to the class 
and declared the joyful tidings of my deliverance from 
the bondage of sin. 

Soon after my conversion I made a visit to my 
native country. When I arrived among my old asso- 
ciates in Germany I was soon met with friendly 
greetings; and, according to custom, the bottle was 
soon brought, and a glass of whisky poured out. I 
was requested to drink with them, but I refused. 
This caused my friends to look at me with astonish- 
ment, and to ask whether people in America did not 
drink. Upon which I replied that I did not drink 
any, and commenced to give them a temperance lec- 
ture, telling them the evils of intemperance and the 
ruin it had brought into many fixmilies. I then 
pointed to one after another among them who had 
lost house and home by indulging in this sinful habit, 
and finally brought them so far that none of them 
would drink. When dinner was ready, and they 
were about to begin eating without the asking of a 


blessing, I told them that in America we were in 
the habit of praying when we eat, and I asked the 
blessing of God upon the victuals before us. In the 
evening, when we were about to retire to sleep, I took 
the Bible and told them that in America we read the 
Bible and prayed in our families. So I read a chap- 
ter, and then kneeled down and prayed with them. 

The schoolmaster of the place soon heard of it, and 
reported to his school that I had become a Roman 
Catholic, because I kneeled when I prayed; and 
warned all the people against me. I, however, had 
taken a bundle of the Christian Apologist and re- 
ligious tracts with me, and distributed them among 
the people. By reading these they soon found out 
that I was not a Roman Catholic, and they were then 
quite severe against the schoolmaster for having slan- 
dered me. I found that the schoolmaster had exerted 
a bad influence among the children by telling them 
that it was not necessary to ask a blessing at the 
table, and through this many had neglected even this 
common form of worship, while family prayer was 
scarcely ever thought of. 

On one occasion I was sent for to go and pray for 
a sick woman ; and when I started in company with 
my brother, he said to me, " Shall we not take the 
Prayer-Book with us ?" I told him we did not need 
it. I went and prayed extemporaneously with the 
woman ; and while I kneeled down and prayed the 
family and friends present stood and looked on with 
great surprise, perhaps never having seen such a 
sight before. 

But I have not time to enter into a detail of the 
various occurrences during my visit to my old friends. 


I hope that the tracts and Apologists which I distrib- 
uted, together with what I told them of the grace of 
God manifested to us in America, left some good im- 
pression upon their minds. 

After a stay of about six weeks there, I started 
back for our beloved and free America, glad that I 
had found a home here, and especially glad that this 
happy land had been made more dear to me by being 
the land of my spiritual birth. When I once more 
was permitted to set my feet on American soil, and 
thought of the religious liberties which we here enjoy, 
I felt like prostrating myself to the earth, and kissing 
the ground on which I walked. 

I went from Baltimore, where I landed, to Pitts- 
burg, and soon, yielding to the convictions of my own 
conscience and the call of the Church, I commenced 
to labor for the good of my countrymen. In two 
years afterward I started out as a German missionary. 
It would be too tedious to relate my labors, conflicts, 
and triumphs in the cause of my blessed Savior. 
Hitherto the Lord hath helped me, and I am still 
willing to spend my time and strength in his service. 


I was born on the 9th of February, 1818, in the 
grand duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany. From 
my sixth to my fourteenth year I was sent to school, 
where I enjoyed the instruction of a faithful teacher. 
In my fourteenth year I was confirmed, and recog- 
nized by the preacher and the people as a member of 
the Church, and was declared to be a Christian. But 
I considered myself an ungodly sinner, and a rebel 
against God. 


In my childhood God wrought powerfully in my 
heart, so that often, when I was alone and thought of 
my life, I burst into tears, and exclaimed, " God, be 
merciful to me a sinner." I often thought it would 
have been better for me if I had never been born; 
for I had no one to lead me in the right way, and I 
knew not the way in which to go. What darkened 
my mind the most was our preacher himself, and the 
whole community. I often viewed the conduct of the 
preacher and members of the Church, but could find 
no Christian example ; and I venture to say there 
was not one of them converted. My great misfor- 
tune is that I did not follow the teachings of the Holy 
Spirit, which urged me to read my Bible and take it 
for the rule of my life. 

Finally, my pious feelings left me, and I sank into 
a state of carnal security, and could drink in iniquity 
like water. I was even tainted with rationalism, so 
that I constantly became worse, and sought to spend 
my youthful days in folly, which often brought me 
into great danger and embarrassment. 

But suddenly my earlier pious inclinations re- 
turned, my conscience again commenced to reprove 
me as much as ever, and I once more felt the neces- 
sity of a change of heart. I reflected on my condi- 
tion, and concluded that it would be impossible for me 
to lead a Christian life in my father-land. I therefore 
resolved to leave all my ungodly associates and emi- 
grate to America. With stafl" in hand I started on 
ray journey, and came safely across the great ocean. 

On arriving in America I soon fell into my old 
habits, so that instead of seeking the kingdom of God 
and his righteousness, I sought the world with its 


pleasures. I settled in Sandusky county, Ohio; and 
in the early part of my residence there I heard no 
sermons, and the Sabbath was spent like a week-day. 
The German settlers finally hired a Lutheran preacher; 
but the people remained in their old condition, and I 
again fell into a rationalistic belief. The Church to 
which I belonged had members who would curse, 
swear, drink whisky ; and, to my shame, I must con- 
fess that I was one of the foremost in all these crimes. 
But thanks be to God ! suddenly an alarm was 
given that the false prophets, as the German Method- 
ist preachers were called, had come into the neigh- 
borhood. For a long time I would not go to hear 
them ; for as I knew there was but very little religion 
in the Church to which I belonged, I thought there 
would be none at all among the Methodists. I, how- 
ever, heard many things about the Methodists and 
their manner of worship, the mourners' bench, pray- 
ing in the spirit, etc. Finally, my wife persuaded me 
to go with her to a Methodist prayer meeting. There 
was a revival just then going on in the Church, and I 
saw many, whom I had known previously going on 
heedlessly in a course of sin, now earnestly praying 
for mercy. Suddenly my sins came upon me like a 
mighty torrent, the tears rolled in streams from my 
eyes, and I was convinced that this was the right way 
to heaven. I immediately formed the resolution, that 
if there was yet mercy for me in heaven, to seek it 
by repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus 
Christ. But I was afraid that I had come too late, 
and had carried my course of sin too far; but my 
resolution was firm to pray, and if I Avere cast into 
hell I resolved to go calling for mercy. 


The prayer meeting closed, and my "vrife and I left 
the house. I remarked to her: "As you persuaded 
me to go with you to the church, now tell me what 
do you think of this matter." She replied, "I do 
not think much of it. I believe such confusion is not 
acceptable to God, but indeed we should do better 
than we have been doing." I answered her, "I am 
determined to seek religion, and if God will give 
grace in secret and silent prayer I will receive it 
thankfully; but should my feelings induce me to cry 
aloud I will do it; God's word is not against loud 
praying. I must have religion or be lost." We came 
home and there I met one of my ungodly comrades. 
As soon as he got sight of me, he said to me, "Are 
you sick, or what ails you?" I said to him: "I am 
sick in my soul and right dangerously, too, and if 
you and I do not repent, we will both go to hell ; and 
there is no doubt about it." He immediately replied : 
" You are right ; we have been the most ungodly in 
the neighborhood, but only be cheerful. I think it 
will soon go better with us, for the Lord has sent his 
servant among us. Yesterday there was a German 
Methodist preacher at my house by the name of E. 
Riemenschneider, and asked of me the privilege of 
preaching in my house, to which I gave my consent. 
Come over then and we will do better." 

Brother Riemenschneider preached frequently; but 
for some time it appeared that his labor was in vain. 
No one seemed willing to make a start, and my own 
convictions were not as strong as they had been at first. 
Yet I had been sufficiently instructed by the preach- 
ing of the Gospel, that I knew the way and defended 
the truth, but I had not obtained that which I was 


seeking for, namely, the pardon of my sins. In tins 
sorrowful condition I lived for some time under great 
persecution, and it was said in our neighborhood that 
the first one who joined the Methodist Church should 
be driven out of the place. I now could not go with 
the wicked world, neither could I count myself with 
the people of God. This was indeed a mournful time 
with me. I began to doubt whether there was mercy 
for me ; yet I thought upon my promise to the Lord, 
namely, to pray for mercy till I found it. I had 
tried all along to leave oif my sins gradually, but I 
made poor progress, and found ceasing from habits 
of sin was not pardon for past sins. 

Brother Riemenschneider stopped preaching in our 
neighborhood for a time, and his nearest preaching- 
place was five miles from my house, but the distance 
was not too great for me, and I continued to attend 
the meeting. There was a two-days' meeting appoint- 
ed, and I went on Saturday evening earnestly seeking 
and praying for the pardon of my sins. About ten 
o'clock at night, I felt that if the Son of God makes 
free, we are free indeed. The word of power came 
down to me, "Be of good cheer; thy sins are all 
forgiven thee." I then received the Spirit of adop- 
tion, by which I cried, " Abba, Father." This was on 
the fourth day of May, 1843. 

Brother Riemenschneider opened the door of the 
Church and I gave him my name, with a determina- 
tion to work out my salvation with fear and trembling 
so long as I have to remain in this vale of tears. 
We organized a class and held prayer meetings among 
us, and our number gradually increased till we had 


Soon after my conversion I felt that I ought to 
preach, but became much alarmed at this thought, 
and would often fall upon my knees and pray to 
God to take such feelings from me. Fear and trem- 
bling often seized me ; for I thought it was the enemy 
of my soul who put such desires into my mind, to 
excite in me pride, and thus cause my fall. I was 
always willing to do the will of God, but I did not 
believe that this was his will. I knew that my educa- 
tion was limited, and I did not consider myself com- 
petent and holy enough for such an important calling. 
I then commenced to contend against these feelings, 
and to banish them from my mind, and in this way 
come very near losing my religious enjoyment. I 
was as deeply distressed in my mind as when I was 
a penitent seeker, and could get no light. I was 
ashamed to mention my feelings to any one, though I 
sometimes thought I would make them known to 
brother Riemenschneider. No one knew any thing 
of it, and for whole nights on my bed I contended 
with these feelings. But my impressions became 
stronger, and often in meeting I felt like rising and 
talking to the people, and sometimes had to hold 
myself back to keep from making disturbance in the 
congregation. While I thought no one knew any 
thing of my feelings, I found I was mistaken; for 
one day a pious brother said to me : " Brother Gahn, 
I believe God has called you to preach." I became 
alarmed, turned the conversation to another subject, 
and left him as soon as possible. On my way home 
I met another brother in whom I had the greatest 
confidence, and told him how it had been with me for 
a long time past. He told me the same that the 



first brother had said, and also remarked that the 
whole class was of the same opinion. " But, brother 
Galm," said he, "you must put your trust in God." 
Tears filled my eyes and I went home. Brother Bier 
was then missionary on the Sandusky mission, and 
to him I made known my feelings, and he gave me 
much encouragement and comfort. He told me not 
to banish such thoughts from my mind, but to resign 
myself to the will of the Lord, assuring me that he 
would direct me aright. 

I became class-leader, and exercised my talents in 
talking to the people, and had great enjoyments in 
the discharge of this duty. I resigned myself quietly 
to the will of God, often believing that my feelings 
moving me to preach would finally leave me ; but this 
was not the case. I received license to exhort on the 
12th of June, 1845. 

I often felt the powers of the world to come and 
the blessing of God richly resting upon me, but I 
was still not willing to preach, for I knew my own un- 
fitness. Brother Schmucker came as presiding elder 
and talked to me on the subject. I said to him: "I 
am not suflSciently educated." He replied: "If God 
has called you to preach he will prepare you for the 
work." And then he told me to pray much, read my 
Bible with diligence, live humble and pious. 

I received license to preach on the 15th of April, 
1846, and began to labor as a local preacher. During 
the week I followed my regular employment, and 
on Sabbath I went to my appointments, and often 
had refreshing seasons from the Lord; but many a 
time I had severe trials to pass through, yet my 
Savior stood by me. 


The last qucarterly conference for the year arrived, 
and a proposition was made to me to take a recom- 
mendation from it to the annual conference to enter 
the traveling connection. I hesitated, as I had worked 
hard to clear up my farm, and was prepared to 
live comfortably on it. By the advice of brother 
Schmucker, however, I gave myself wholly to the 
Lord, and I can now say I am well satisfied with my 
lot. I was recommended and received into the Ohio 
conference in the year 1846. 

On my way to the first appointment I was taken 
sick with a violent fever, so that there were great 
doubts about my recovery. Then the enemy again 
came with his temptations, suggesting to me that this 
was an evidence that the Lord had not called me. 
But by the grace of God the enemy was vanquished, 
for I could truly say, If it is not the will of God that 
I should preach, I thank him that he has thus hedged 
up my way, even if it should be by my death. But I 
recovered from my sickness, and afterward enjoyed 
good health. I went to my mission, leaving my wife 
and four children at home. God gave me grace to 
bid family and friends farewell, and I arrived safe 
at my first mission, and was received with kindness. 
Since that time I have passed through severe trials 
and temptations, but hitherto the Lord hath helped 
me, and I thank him for all his goodness, and I hope 
that he who has begun a good work in me will carry 
it on till the day of redemption. With a dependence 
on him who has sustained me thus far, 

" I'll lift my hands, I'll raise my voice, 
While I have breath to pray or praise: 
This work shall make my heart rejoice. 
And fill the remnant of my days." 



W A L T H E R . 


I LIVED with my family in St. Louis when brother 
Jacoby was sent there as German missionary, and in 
the second year of his ministry I sent my chiklren to 
his Sunday school. They became very much attached 
to it, and notwithstanding the prejudice of many of 
my German neighbors against the Methodists, I was 
not so bigoted as to keep my children away, for I 
found that what they learned was according to the 
teachings of the Bible. I myself had no practical 
religion nor any experimental knowledge of a change 
of heart, but was satisfied with being called a Lu- 
theran. In the mean time the good seed that was 
sown in the hearts of the children in the Sabbath 
school began to grow. They pra^^-ed at home, and 
joyfully went to the meetings of the Methodists, 
though I myself had no desire to go to any church. 

The youngest of my three boys frequently took the 
Bible at home and read it, and then kneeled down and 
prayed. This made me feel ashamed of myself, as I 
had lived prayerless and spent my life in the world, 
though I had the name of a Christian. My wife com- 
menced going with the children to meeting, and also 
sometimes went to prayer meeting, and was soon 


awakened to see her lost condition and her need of a 
Savior, and would gladly have joined the Church if 
she had not been afraid of me. She spoke to me on 
the subject and asked my opinion about repentance and 
conversion, and told me that it was her desire and wish 
to be converted, and asked me kindly and mildly whether 
I would not once go with her to the German Methodist 
church; but this I was not then prepared to do. 

One Sabbath evening, however, as my wife and chil- 
dren were preparing to go to the church, my children 
looked sad and my wife was grieved because I would 
not go with them. All their eyes were turned to me, 
and they exhibited an anxious desire for me to go, 
and seemed as though they were afraid to ask. Yet 
my little boy came to me and took me by my right 
hand, and said : " Father, come along with us to church ; 
come, father, do go with us." This invitation from 
the innocent child melted me down. His words were 
as a hammer to break my stony heart. I was com- 
pletely subdued, but did not wish it to be known that 
he was stronger than I and had conquered me ; so I 
allowed them to go on alone to meeting, and I gath- 
ered up my remaining courage to go to the card-table. 
I set out and got as far as the door of the house, but 
here I paused ; I could not go in, for it appeared to 
me that the tender hand of my little boy was holding 
me back. His voice was still sounding in my ears, 
"Come along with us to church;" and thus, while 
struggling with myself, I gathered resolution and 
turned to go. On the way I had to contend with my 
old propensity and against my deep-rooted habits of 
sin and the power of the devil ; but I was overcome 
and turned back to my place of sinful amusement. 


Here I stood for the second time before the door, but 
had not the power nor the courage to go in. So I 
went back and forth till I stood for the third time 
before the house, where I had spent so many even- 
ings in playing cards. As I now reflected on my past 
life I was seized with fear and horror at a recollection 
of the past, and made the solemn resolution to go to 
the church; so I went and the Lord strengthened me 
in my purpose. 

Religious services had commenced, and brother 
Jacoby was just beginning to preach; I was aston- 
ished, as I sat under the preaching of the word, that 
every thing appeared so appropriate to my case. I 
thought, how is it possible that the preacher should 
know my heart so well? I was fully convinced by 
the word of God and the operation of his Holy Spirit, 
of my sinful condition, so that I felt myself quite 
lost, and under sentence of condemnation. When 
the meeting closed I went home, leaving my family to 
come after me, and they were astonished and rejoiced 
when I told them that I had been in the Methodist 
church. On the next Thursday evening, as there was 
preaching again, my Avife and I went, and both of us 
joined the Church. On Friday evening there was 
prayer meeting in the church, which seekers of salva- 
tion were invited to attend. I went with my heavy- 
burdened heart to seek for peace, but I found it not. 
My distress appeared to increase, I felt humbled be- 
fore God and man, and durst scarcely to look up. I 
felt as if I were unworthy of society, and almost 
feared that the earth would open itself to receive me. 

On Saturday afternoon I went to the house of 
brother Jacoby to get him to pray for me. There 


were several brethren there when I came, and they 
all prayed with me and pointed me to my Savior, and 
told me that I too could find pardon for my sins in the 
blood of the Lamb if I could come to him by faith. 
I lay before the mercy-seat, and called out like Pe- 
ter, " Save Lord, or I perish !" But the hour of my 
deliverance had not come. Forsaken by Christ, as I 
believed, eternal condemnation appeared to be my sad 
fate. In this sorrowful condition I went to bed at 
night, rolled about in anguish, and moistened my pil- 
low with my tears. Satan appeared to stand before 
me and claim me as his own. With anguish, and a 
strong and intense desire, I looked once more to the 
Savior, and besought him to receive me and not let 
me fall into the hands of my enemy. Now the Lord 
revealed himself to me as I opened my mouth to speak. 
While the name of Jesus was on my tongue his love 
penetrated and filled my heart, so that I could love 
him as I had never loved before. I rejoiced in my 
Savior who had crowned me with joy and gladness. 
Anguish and fear had now vanished away, the love of 
God streamed through my soul, and I was fully con- 
vinced that he had adopted me as his child, and I was 
happy in a union and communion with him. Finally 
the morning dawned, and I could for the first time 
arise from my bed as a sinner saved by the blood of 
Christ. This was the first Sabbath in May, 1843. 

Immediately after my conversion I felt myself 
moved to tell my friends and relations what the mer- 
ciful God, in his free grace through Christ Jesus, had 
done for my poor soul. At first they were much op- 
posed and ofi"ended, and thought I had fallen from the 
faith of my fathers ; but I thank God that they also 


were afterward converted. I rejoiced in the service 
of the God of my salvation, and it was the desire of 
my heart to labor in his cause and to grow in the 
knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ ; but 
I had often to complain of my own unfaithfulness and 
shortcomings which have caused me many a conflict. 
About two years after my conversion I felt a gradu- 
ally increasing impression that I should preach ; but 
I was afraid to say any thing about it to my brethren, 
as I could have believed any thing in the world sooner 
than that I should yet be a preacher. Yet the 
Lord's ways are not our ways ; I had been a class- 
leader for more than one year, and we had many a 
happy season. The impression that I ought to preach 
followed me, and there seemed to be a voice within 
me urging me on to preach. 

The preachers saw fit to license me to exhort, 
and some time after gave me license to preach, ac- 
cording to the rule of our Discipline. I commenced 
with much fear and diffidence ; yet the brethren en- 
couraged me, and told me to continue, and that per- 
haps the Lord would yet use me as an instrument in 
his hands to advance his cause. Upon this I con- 
cluded to give myself wholly to the Lord, and to 
follow the openings of his providence. In the mean 
time the conference of 1845 approached. Brother 
Jacoby told me to hold myself in readiness to go out 
and labor among my countrymen, which I accord- 
ingly did, and the same year was appointed to labor, 
under the presiding elder, on Palmyra mission, Mis- 

I went, in the name of the Lord, Avith a hope soon 
to see some fruits of my labor; but for the first six 


months all was dark and discouraging, and the enemy 
of my soul tempted me to go home and give it up. 
But all this drew me nearer to the Savior and induced 
me to lay my case before him. He strengthened and 
helped me ; and while I have labored in this work, I 
have had the pleasure of seeing many souls born 
into the kingdom of God. I am thankful for the 
number of my countrymen that have already been 
brought to Christ. My own soul is happy in my 
blessed Savior, and I am determined to press after 
holiness, that finally, through the abounding grace of 
God, I may be received into his kingdom. 


I was in my tenth year when my parents concluded 
to emigrate to America. While we remained at the 
tavern in Bremen, I found an old Hymn-Book, in 
which I read the following lines : 

" He who seeks for earthly treasures 
Can not my disciple be." 

This so affected my heart that I wept aloud, and 
showed the lines to my father, and told him we were 
not Christ's disciples, for we were seeking earthly 
treasures. I was, however, comforted by my parents 
when they told me that the hymn was not the word 
of God, but man's composition. 

In my school years, from twelve to sixteen, I often 
thought if all these people, who call themselves 
Christians, are so, then the Bible can not be true. 
The time of my catechetical instruction was a very 
sinful part of my life ; yet my conscience waked up 
as I received the holy sacrament, and condemned me 
for having taken it unworthily, and I went home with 


a load of sin upon my heart. Still I had a desire to 
partake of this holy sacrament worthily. 

There was a report of some German Methodists in 
Ohio who were said to have fallen from the faith. 
Finally, a number of German Methodists came to 
Missouri ; but the preachers were hated and perse- 
cuted, and, in many places, deprived of the privilege of 
preaching. Yet my parents opened their house and 
allowed them to preach in it. After this I went to 
St. Louis, and one evening went to the Methodist 
church. The sermon awakened me to a sense of my 
lost condition. The word was " quick and powerful, 
and sharper than a two-edged sword, piercing to the 
dividing asunder of joints and marrow, and was a dis- 
cerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." 
My heart was very much ajfected, and I at once re- 
solved to join the Methodist Church. Now a voice, 
as from my heavenly Father, came to me, to repent, 
return, and be converted ; and to this was added the 
exhortation of my brother and sister. This induced 
me, on the next Sabbath, to go to the church again. 
After the sermon there was prayer meeting ; but my 
heart remained cold and indifferent. While penitents 
were kneeling around the altar, I was induced by cu- 
riosity to go up close and see who it was that cried so 
earnestly for the pardon of his sins. It was my 
brother, who had previously been a violent persecutor 
of the children of God. He lay there pleading for 
mercy, while the pious were offering up prayers for 
his salvation. I was at once convicted of sin, and 
sought to meet with the children of God. I spent 
fourteen days seeking for pardon ; others prayed 
with me j but though thus seeking I could not find. 


On the following Sabbath I went again. This was 
a day of the Lord to my soul. The preacher, Rev 
C. Jost, took for his text, "Come unto me all ye that 
labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." 
After the sermon it was asked how it was with me, and 
I was told that I must seek earnestly by faith ; for 
the " kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but 
righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." 
This I experienced, indeed, when I lay down in the 
evening to sleep, and offered up my soul to God, that 
he might seal it with the spirit of promise to the day 
of redemption. The joy that I found in a union with 
the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is not to be fully 
expressed by human tongue. It was now my earnest 
desire to live near to the Lord, and to follow after 
holiness, without which no one shall see the Lord. 

I had frequent impressions that I should preach, 
even previous to my conversion, and these impres- 
sions increased ten-fold afterward. The responsi- 
bility of the ministerial office for some time de- 
terred me ; yet my eyes were opened to see how all 
men had corrupted their way before the Lord, and I 
had an abiding impression on. my mind of the won- 
derful love of God, which he manifested to the human 
family. I was often so affected that I went to others, 
and told them of their danger in neglecting their sal- 
vation. My heart was at the same time filled with 
joy and sorrow — the former from a view of God's 
goodness, the latter from a view of man's lost con- 

The impression that I should preach grew so strong 
that I told some of my friends of it; and they ex- 
horted me not to resist this impression. At first I 


felt a great struggle within, yet I was convinced that it 
was my duty to call sinners to repentance. I finally 
resolved to devote myself wholly to the service of 
the Lord. Now my soul was satisfied, and the Lord 
strengthened me in knowledge and in his grace and 
love to him. Soon after, I received license to preach. 
At my first efforts the Lord strengthened and blessed 
me. I commenced my labors in March, 1848, in the 
name of God. Since then I have seen many come 
from darkness to light. May the Lord keep us all 
faithful, and bring us at last to praise him before his 
throne ! 


I was born the 10th of September, 1818, in Culm- 
bach, a town in the kingdom of Bavaria, My parents 
were members of the Lutheran Church, which, with 
the Catholic Church, is supported by the state. The 
spiritual life was so far lost sight of that scarcely any 
but rationalistic preachers were allowed to preach the 
Gospel. When I reached my seventh year, accord- 
ing to the laws of the country, I had to go to school, 
where, with other matters, I was compelled to com- 
mit the catechism to memory. It was customary for 
parents to select professions for their sons. My 
parents designed me for the ministry, and i'n my 
eleventh year they sent me to the sub-gymnasium, or 
elementary school, of our town,to commence the pre- 
paratory studies for the ministry. One of the teach- 
ers, who had himself studied theology, but who was 
a strict rationalist, gave instructions to the pupils. 
From him I drank in the rationalism which was after- 
ward nourished by the preacher who confirmed me. 
The older I became the less inclination I had for the 


profession to wliicli 1 was destined by my parents, and 
against the ^vill of my mother I left the institution. 
Dancing, drinking, and playing, in -which the preach- 
ers themselves took part, and that, too, on the Sab- 
bath, were very common; and so it was no wonder 
that I, a young man, with a heart inclined to sin, like 
thousands of others, fell a prey to the follies and 
customs of our times. 

Four of our family emigrated, one after the other, 
to America. They wrote us many letters on the con- 
dition of this country, and the manners and customs of 
its inhabitants. These letters excited in me a desire 
to follow them, and on the 11th of September, 1840, 
I left my father-land and started for America. After 
a tedious journey by land and a stormy and danger- 
ous sea-voyage, I, with sixty other passengers, arrived 
on the 1st of October in Baltimore. I soon found 
that gold is not to be picked up on the street, and that 
I must learn to work in order to support myself. I 
met with a friendly reception, and obtained employ- 
ment in a Methodist family. 

During our sea-voyage I became acquainted with 
an aged widow, who, in company with her daughter, 
came over to visit her son, who had been in America 
sixteen years, and who was then in Texas. Through 
this acquaintance I was introduced to her family, 
and with them I frequently visited a beautiful church, 
and heard a talented and eloquent rationalist preacher. 
The aged mother, seeking food for her soul, found no 
pleasure in the sermons of this man, and induced her 
daughter, to whom I was then betrothed, and myself 
to go with her to another chmxh. Accordingly we 
went to a small and indifferent-looking church of the 


evangelical society, founded by the pious and talented 
Albright. With the anointing from above we heard 
a youth preach there the word of God as we had 
never been accustomed to hear it. 

One evening the sermon produced such an effect 
upon the heart of my intended bride that she prayed 
for mercy till she fell unconscious on the floor. I 
had never in my life seen such a thing ; and, fearing 
for her life, I hastened to the altar, and with the aid 
of some of the women I carried her out of the church. 
After some exertion we brought her to consciousness 
again. My heart also was affected, yet I resisted 
the calls of the Spirit, and left off going to the 

After my marriage, and, the death of my mother- 
in-law, we removed to the west, in order to visit my 
relatives. In Cincinnati we met my brother-in-law 
and sister, who were then members of the Methodist 
Church. After a few days' sojourn with them I found 
I could not remain, for they prayed too much to suit 
me. My parents in the mean time had followed their 
children to America. Father was now dead, and my 
mother lived with one of my brothers. I went with 
my wife to see them, and found that they too had 
prayers in the family, and that my brother had be- 
come a Methodist. Out of respect to him we went to 
the German Methodist church, and heard brother 
Nast preach. My wife was awakened, and found her 
Savior in the pardon of her sins. This made a deep 
impression on my mind, and I joined the Church with 
her, and sought for pardon ; but as I stopped seek- 
ing too soon, and took awakening for conversion, I 
had no power to resist the temptations of the enemy. 


I began to find fault with my brethren, and overlooked 
my own sins and fell back. 

After this I passed one of the most unfortunate 
years of my life ; it was true that the conduct of some 
old members gave offense; yet a voice within said to 
me, what is that to thee ? follow thou thy Savior. In 
vain did I seek to find rest by staying away from the 
church; in vain did I seek by sporting and worldly 
amusements to regain my former cheerfulness. My 
rest was gone; I went from one sin to another, con- 
scious of my wrong, but I had no power to resist. I 
sought to keep my wife away from church, in which, 
after long persuasion, I succeeded. Yet, thank God! 
she did not cease to pray, notwithstanding she was 
kept from church for two years through my influ- 
ence. She kept up family ptayer, though I begged 
her to forego it, because I could not endure to hear 
her pray. She often prayed in secret, in which I 
often surprised her, and felt keener reproofs of con- 
science than ever before. Not long after she was 
taken very sick, and the physician who was called ex- 
pressed the opinion that she could not live many 
days. Weeping I stood at the foot of her bed, re- 
flecting on my sad condition. Deep sighs arose from 
my troubled breast, and when her feeble eyes opened 
she said, in broken sentences, " See, Walther, all this 
has come upon you because you would not pray." 
These words fell with weight upon my heart, and then 
and there I vowed to God to serve him with all my 
heart. Through the mercy of God my wife gradu- 
ally recovered from her sickness, and I felt myself 
the more bound to perform my vow. Brother Kuhl 
was then stationed in St. Louis, where we now re- 



sided, and held a protracted meeting in the Wash- 
Street church, in which he was aided by brother 
Koeneke. Without the knowledge of my wife I went 
to church every evening. God blessed the word, and 
sinners were awakened by scores. My poor heart 
was melted under the influence of the word of God, 
and every evening I was among the seeking penitents 
at the altar of prayer. One evening after another 
passed away, and sinners were converted on my right 
and left, and praised the Lord for his goodness and 
grace, while I was compelled to leave the church 
with a heavy heart. During the day I was sad and 
sorrowful, and at home said but little. I read my 
Bible and prayed in secret, but my wife noticed my 
conduct, and asked me the reason of it. I replied, 
" I am sick ;" for I foolishly was ashamed to disclose 
to her the condition of my heart. Of evenings I 
went to church, yet weeks passed away and I found 
no peace. 

One evening I prayed to God earnestly to show me 
the hinderance why I could not obtain the precious 
treasure. Then it occurred to me that I had dis- 
owned my Lord before her who had for two years 
earnestly prayed for me. Now I saw that I must 
bear the cross and confess the Lord ; so the next 
morning I took the Bible and said to my wife, " Come, 
let us hold family worship." My wife was alarmed 
and thought I was only going to mock her, yet did 
not say a word. I read a chapter and tried to pray, 
but could only utter a few broken sentences. I arose 
from my knees with a heavy heart, and hastened out 
into the city. I spent the whole day in prayer and 
meditation on the word of God, and in the evcnina: I 

JO UN L, WALT II Ell. 283 

went to tlie churcli "where a watch meeting was held. 
I again with others laj at the altar of prayer, wrest- 
ling and praying for a new heart; as I then tried to 
give mj heart fully to Jesus, I apprehended him by 
the eye of faith, and heard the word spoken through 
God's Spirit, " Go in peace, thy faith hath saved 
thee." This was between twelve and one o'clock on 
the first of January, 1848. 0, how often has the 
recollection of that hour cheered me in the midst of 
trials and temptations ! With a joyful heart I went 
home, where I found my wife already gone to sleep. 
I praised God silently, laid me down to rest, but could 
scarcely sleep, and the next morning I arose with a 
joyful heart. After breakfast was over I took my 
Bible and read, " Blessed be God and the Father of 
our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath begotten us again to 
a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from 
the dead." I fell on my knees, and with tears of joy 
I praised and thanked God Avith a loud voice. My 
wife who had silently looked on my conduct was 
cheered and encouraged; her prayer was answered, 
and her unbelieving husband was converted. We 
wept tears of joy together, then held a prayer meet- 
ing and a love-feast all in our own room, and I related 
to her how my Savior had given me a new heart. 

Soon after this we both joined the Methodist 
Church, and found in brother Kuhl a good friend and 
counselor, who soon gave me an opportunity to im- 
prove my talent by teaching a day-school. I, in suc- 
cession, received license to exhort and to preach, and 
since 1851 I have been a traveling preacher of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, through the abounding 
grace of God, to whom be praise and honor forever ! 




I WAS born the 25th of January, 1824,inMandach, 
Rheinpfalz, Bavaria. My parents were strict members 
of the Roman Catholic Church. When only four or 
five years old, my mother used to lead me to the 
church, Avhere we kneeled down before the images and 
paintings that were found there, and said our prayers 
according to the light and knowledge we then had. 
As I took especial delight in seeing the boys before 
the altar, waiting on the priests during mass, and 
from time to time ringing the little bells which they 
carried, I wished very much also to become like them, 
an acolyte or mass-servant. In a short time I had 
learned the Latin prayer, as well as the different cere- 
monies of the mass service ; and before I was full 
seven years old, I was offered as mass-servant to the 
priest, who was much rejoiced to receive me. No 
one in the wide world felt happier than I did when I 
was clothed in the dress prescribed for my office. 

When I was nine years old my beloved mother was 
taken very sick, and father sent me for the priest, 
that he might come and administer to her the last 
sacraments. When the priest arrived Ave all had to 
leave the room. My mother confessed, for the last 
time, and Avas absolved, and after this Ave were allowed 
to go into the room again. The sacrament of the 

J. M. WINKLER. 285 

Lord's supper was then administered to her, and she 
received extreme unction ; and in about fifteen min- 
utes after these ceremonies her spirit left its mortal 
tenement. As I, in my child-like simplicity, thought 
over these things, and compared them all with the 
doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church, I felt very 
well satisfied in that all had been done on the part of 
the Church and the priest to secure her salvation. 
But how was I disturbed in my mind, and disap- 
pointed in my expectation, when told by the priest 
that my mother was not yet in heaven, but that 
she now found herself in purgatory, and that my 
father would yet have to pay a certain sum of money 
to have mass read for her to bring her out ! This was 
too much for my tender, loving, and child-like feelings 
toward my dear mother. Half sorrowful and half 
provoked at the intelligence of the priest, I went 
home from the school-house in the afternoon, and be- 
tween me and my father the following conversation 
occurred : 

"Father," said I, "has our priest power to forgive 

"Yes, my child," was his answer; "yes indeed; 
for our Lord Jesus says, 'Whose sins ye remit, they 
are remitted.' " " Now," I answered, " if this is true, 
why is mother yet in purgatory ? The priest forgave 
her sins just before she died, and to-day he told me 
she was not in heaven yet, but remained in purgatory, 
where she had to do penance for her sins ; and you 
must pay him some more money, and he will read 
mass for her, to bring her out of purgatory, and send 
her to heaven." " All that the priests tell us we must 
believe and do," was the answer of my father ; " for 



they arc infallible." "Father," said I, "there ia 
something here not clear to my mind. If our priest 
has poAver to forgive sins, then mother is not in purg- 
atory. Now, do you keep your money, since the 
priest has no occasion to say any further mass for 
her." My father was much astonished at my expres- 
sions on this subject, and said nothing more, but 
went to the priest and told him my views of the 
pardon of sins and purgatory. 

Up to this time I had stood high in the estimation 
of our priest, and he had previously expressed himself 
to my father, that " something might be made out of 
this boy ;" and, as I afterward learned from my 
father, they had already commenced making arrange- 
ments for me to study for the priesthood. Now, all 
the interest the priest had taken in me was brought 
to a close, and his confidence and the promises which 
he had made me were at an end. Excited and angry 
he came home with my father, and said to me, 
" Whence have you received such devilish thoughts ? 
Most certainly from the heretical Protestants ; but I 
will soon cure you, mind that. Not so, Mr. Wink- 
ler, not so," continued he, turning to my father. My 
father stood with folded hands, and his eyes full of 
tears, looking up toward heaven, for he was much 
concerned on my account. Had I lived in the dark 
centuries the priest would soon have put an end to 
my freedom or my life by some kind of inquisition. 
Up to this time I was a good Catholic ; and already in 
my seventh year, I had been admitted to confession. 

I will here relate an occurrence that took place in 
my eleventh year, which will show that at that early 
day I had very little confidence in the poAVcr of the 

J. M. WINKLER. 287 

priest, or the ceremonies of the Church. It was cus- 
tomary for our priest, once a year, to consecrate water 
for baptismal purposes, and this was put in a font, 
and was considered holy. It was my duty, as his at- 
tendant, to procure this holy water when it was 
wanted. On one occasion a child was to be bap- 
tized ; I went for the water, and found it frozen 
solid. I immediately ran out to a little stream near 
by and got a bucket of water, took a bowl full of it 
to the priest and poured the rest into the font ; and I 
have no doubt that the child baptized with the water 
direct from the branch fared as well, so far as baptism 
is concerned, as if it had been baptized with the 
priest's consecrated water ; but woe would have been 
to me if the priest had found it out. 

It was impressed on our minds to go to confession 
four times a year, till we reached the thirteenth year. 
Then we were admitted to the sacrament of the Lord's 
supper and dismissed from the day-school. In my 
fourteenth year I was confirmed by a bishop, and 
now, according to the doctrine of the Church, I was 
a good Christian. About this time I learned that 
there was a book called the Bible, and that it was 
highly esteemed and prized by the Protestants. Cu- 
riosity excited me to go to a Protestant neighbor, who 
had a son of my own age, through whose kindness I 
came into possession of a New Testament. I received 
it with the assurances of my Protestant comrade, that 
there was nothing in all the Bible to prove that the 
priest had power to forgive sins, or that we were to 
pray to departed saints, or call upon them for their 
intercessions, or that there is such a place as purga- 
tory. I read ray Protestant book from beginning to 


end, two or three times, and it appeared to me to be 
the wrong place to find such doctrines. From that 
time I ceased to go to confession, as I had no faith 
in it. 

I would here remark, however, that after I left 
home as a journeyman to work at my trade, I was in 
duty bound by the laws and regulations of our coun- 
try to go to confession and to the sacrament at Easter. 
My employer was a strict Catholic and required it of 
me. A comrade and myself started for the confes- 
sional at six o'clock in the morning, but as my faith 
was much shaken in the doctrines of the Catholic 
Church I took another direction and went to the beer- 
house, where I staid drinking till ten; I then went 
to the church, when high mass was performed, and 
the sacrament was administered. I was now in an 
embarrassing condition. It was required of me to 
bring a printed ticket to my employer as evidence 
that I had been at confession and taken the sacra- 
ment. I did not dare to return home without my 
ticket, and how to get one I did not know. My com- 
rade went to sacrament, and the boy whose duty it 
was to distribute the tickets, in a mistake gave him 
two; so he supplied me with one, and I went home 
and showed it to my employer, and every thing 
passed off well. 

Some seven years after this, while away from home, 
I received a letter from an old acquaintance who had 
come to America some years before, in which he said 
much about the happiness of the people of this coun- 
try, and also told me of his conversion. 

This letter waked up in me strong desires to come 
to America. Such letters written to Germany by 

J. M. WINKLER. 289 

many of our German Methodists are so many mis- 
sionaries, and have often been the means of awaken- 
ings and conversions among those who have read them. 
Soon afterward my father wrote to me that many 
of our friends were going to Amei'ica, and if I wished 
to go with them I might do so. When I came home 
I found that a day of general confession was appoint- 
ed and all who washed to go were required to go 
to confession, and receive absolution from the priest. 
I refused to go because my faith had been shaken in 
the doctrines of the Romish Church from the time 
my mother died, and still more so after I had read 
the New Testament. 

My father told me I must go to confession or he 
would not give me money to pay my passage to 
America. He was afraid that if he let me go without 
confession and absolution I would finally stray off 
from the Church. As I wanted to come to America 
very much, and had no other means of getting the 
money, I went to confession, and told the priest my 
doubts of his power to pardon sins. I was at the 
same time conscious that I was a great sinner, and 
deeply awakened to a sense of my lost condition, 
yet the priest did not point me to the Lamb of God 
who taketh aAvay the sins of the world, but to Virgin 
Mary. He considered my case a very hopeless one, 
and directed me to kneel for one hour on a small 
stick about as thick as my finger three times a day, 
and say a certain number of prayers to the Virgin 
Mary; and when I ate bread he said I must put 
ashes on it instead of butter or molasses. I thought 
after I got away from him, You may eat the ashes 
yourself, for I shall not. 




I was then deeply sunken in sins, very wild and 
imrestrained, but often felt that the Spirit of God 
wrought powerfully in my soul. When I gave my 
father the parting hand and bade him farewell, the 
old man deeply affected thus addressed me: "My 
son, change your life when you get to America." 
These words broke up the deep of my heart, and 
weeping I left him and the parental home. I felt 
that I was a sinner, but how to be delivered from sin 
I did not knoAV. 

While we were crossing the ocean, we had four 
days and nights of dreadful storm, for we were driven 
too far north among the icebergs. When our ship with 
cargo and all on board were in great danger, our 
captain told us that in a few minutes we might all be 
in eternity. In this time of peril many of my Cath- 
olic countrymen betook themselves to their prayer- 
books, and the scene now appears to me like that on 
the ship where the prophet Jonas found himself. 
Then, those heathens called upon their gods to save 
them; these to the holy Virgin Mary, Joseph, Peter, 
or John. Our captain, as far as T could judge, was a 
praying Christian. As he looked over his company 
of passengers, he fell on his knees, folded his hands 
and looked up, praying without a book, which seemed 
to me most singular. While he prayed, the tears like 
large drops of rain rolled from his eyes. He prayed 
in the English language, and as I listened to him with 
astonishment, I could understand nothing but the 
name of Jesus, which in English sounds similar to 
the German word. I was so affected by this prayer 
that I trembled like a leaf. As I had more confidence 
in the captain's prayer than all the rest, so I resolved 

^ J. M. WINKLER. 291 

to call on the captain's God. I sought a retired place, 
and for the first time in my life I prayed without 
a book. I promised God if he Avould bring me safe 
to America, to serve him with soul and body all the 
days of my life. Never before did I feel my sins 
like a heavy load upon my soul. The Lord heard 
our prayers, and under his protection we landed safely 
on the 5th of July, 1846, in the city of New York. 

From this place we set out for Lawrenceburg, In- 
diana, and after a journey of fourteen days we arrived 
there in the evening. John Bittner, one of my old 
associates, and formerly a member of my Church, 
but who had now with his whole family been con- 
verted, received us kindly into his house. As we 
were about to retire to rest the first evening, he 
brought a very large book and a small one and laid 
them on the table. With astonishment I fixed my 
eyes on the large book, and it appeared to me like 
the old missal which I used to carry from right to left 
before the altar when I was a small boy in the service 
of the priest. Brother Bittner opened the book and 
read from it in the German language, when they sung 
a hymn out of the small book, and we then all kneeled 
down while brother Bittner prayed. The good man 
appeared to have access to the tree of life; for he 
called earnestly, powerfully, and mightily to the 
Lord, The grounds of my old faith were anew 
shaken to the foundation. I discovered that the large 
book was a German family Bible, and the small one 
a collection of hymns. On the next morning family 
worship was again attended to, and so on regularly 
mornings and evenings. 

After a few days I changed my lodging and took 


up my residence with Nicholas Hawbold, also a Ger- 
man Methodist, who had belonged to the Roman 
Catholic Church in the old father-land. Here in our 
beloved America he had found his blessed Savior in 
the pardon of his sins, and then was a class-leader in 
the Church. I found in my new home a loving 
Christian family, who proved a blessing to me. The 
family altar was erected and regularly surrounded, so 
that even at that time I formed a love for family 
worship, which I have retained to this day. Brother 
John Phetzing was then stationed preacher in Law- 
renceburg. After I had heard him a few times hia 
conference met and he was removed. In his place 
brother John Geyer, a true son of thunder, was ap- 
pointed to the station. I also went to hear him, and 
as the truth had taken such deep hold upon me I 
made known my condition one day to one of my 
Catholic friends, who reproved me sharply, and told 
me I would soon be a fool if I did not stay away 
from the Methodist church. Upon this I promised 
that I would be blind or lame rather than go to Meth- 
odist meeting again. At the same time my Catholic 
friends told me that I must change my place of 
boarding, and not remain any longer with Mr. Haw- 
bold, or he would soon make a crazy Methodist out 
of me. One of them declared to me that he had a 
certain flask in which he kept "Methodist drops," and 
that some time in the night, while I was in a deep 
sleep, he would come and administer me some of 
these drops; upon which I would be compelled to 
become a Methodist, and that this had already been 
successfully tried on a great many. I was very much 
alarmed at this, and for several nights I could not 

' '-' J. M. WINKLER. 293 

sleep. If I heard the least noise in the house mj 
fears were excited, and I imagined I saw Mr. Haw- 
bold coming with his flask. 

But to God be everlasting thanks for the precious 
drops of blood which the Savior shed for the pardon 
of my sins. As I apprehended by faith the atoning 
blood and appropriated it to my soul, my high-priest, 
Jesus Christ, forgave me all my sins. The Spirit of 
God witnessed with my spirit that I was a child of 
God, and as the atoning blood was applied to my 
heart I became a Methodist and a true Christian. I 
had hard struggles to pass through, many hinderances 
to overcome, and a bitter cup of penitential grief to 
drink before I obtained this blessing; but so much 
the sweeter was the oil of joy and gladness which 
the Lord poured in full measure into my soul. I was 
not willing to be converted openly, at the altar of 
prayer in the church, and in the presence of so 
many people. I sought the Savior in private by 
night and by day, in the woods, in my closet, and on 
my bed, and found him not. I prescribed for myself a 
mode of cure for my moral leprosy, as Naaman of old; 
but my heavenly Father would have me, not only 
truly converted, but my pride fully humbled. 

On the 9th of November, 1846, after a sermon by 
brother Geyer, in a house full of people, upon 
invitation I went forward, fell on my knees before 
the altar of prayer, and cried aloud for mercy. The 
whole altar was surrounded with seeking penitents. 
Earnest prayers were offered up to God for them. 
My soul was in great distress. I felt that mercy 
alone could meet my case. All my righteousnesses 
were as filthy rags, and I could not offer my own merits, 


for what merit can a sinful and polluted soul possess? 
But I thank God that I could, by faith, appropriate 
the merit which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

"And as I thus before liim lay 
There dawned on me a brighter day; 
The darkest shadows of the night 
Were followed by the morning light." 

0, blessed joy! 0, happy and rich comfort that I 
found in that hour ! Four weeks after this I visited 
my sisters and brothers-in-law, who had purchased 
land a few miles from town. On my arrival at my 
sister's, I told what the Savior had done for me. To 
all this my relatives made no objection, only they 
said that I should not have become a Methodist, but 
should have remained in the bosom of the Catholic 
Church. At first they appeared friendly toward me, 
but finally they became enraged against me, and I 
came near suffering the fate of Stephen before the 
high council. But I had great liberty to confess my 
Savior. The protecting hand of God was over me, 
and so I escaped. 

Soon after my conversion I felt moved to call 
others to repentance, and I believe God commissioned 
me six years before I received license from the 
Church to labor in his vineyard. Since I started out 
as a traveling preacher my Savior has been my sup- 
port. At first it was a hard task, but I -am still in- 
creasing in strength. I have frequently had the 
pleasure of seeing some of my former faith con- 
verted to God. Thousands of my countrymen are 
now rejoicing on earth in the love of their Savior, 
and many of them have already overcome through 
the blood of the Lamb, and are now before the throne 

J. M. WINKLER. 295 

of God. Among them I can count my beloved father, 
of whose conversion I shall now give a brief account. 

Soon after my conversion I became a colporteur, 
and went through the country distributing Bibles and 
talking to the people. At this my brother-in-law, 
who Avas a Roman Catholic, took offense, and wrote 
to my father in Germany that I had become deranged 
by reading the Bible, and that I was now running 
through the country with a Bible under my arm try- 
ing to make others like myself — that I was neglect- 
ing my family and was in a sad condition. This re- 
port excited the sympathy of my father, and he set 
out for America to see me. When he arrived at my 
brother-in-law's he wrote to me as follows : " My son, 
if you have so much sense left yet as to know that I 
am your father, and that you are my son, I have a 
great desire to see you." I soon started off to see 
him, not knowing any thing of my brother-in-law's 
communication to him. When I arrived a-t the house 
he looked at me with amazement, and I looked at 
him astonished to see him in America in his old days. 
He said to me, "How long is it since you began 
to get better?" I told him I did not know that I 
had been sick. He wondered to find me in my right 
mind, and I was glad to see him. 

He afterward visited me in Ohio, and on one Sab- 
bath went with me to one of my appointments. I 
prayed the Lord to help me ; and while I was talk- 
ing, to the people my father was very much affected, 
and Avept profusely. After meeting, he asked me 
whether I had gone to any college in America. I 
took out my Bible, and showed it to him, and said 
to him, " This is the college I have studied in." He 


■was deeply awakened, and commenced seeking re- 
ligion. After I was sent to Illinois, as a missionary 
to the Germans, my father expressed a strong desire 
to spend the remainder of his days with me, and 
started for Illinois. He was taken very sick on the 
way, and prayed very earnestly to God for the pardon 
of his sins, and the Lord heard and answered his 
prayer and blessed him. His Roman Catholic friends, 
however, sent for the priest, but before he arrived the 
Lord converted him. When the priest came father 
told him, " My High-Priest in heaven has pardoned 
my sins ;" and soon afterward he died in peace. 

My heart rejoices that I came to America, and that 
here I found my Savior. I am glad that the merciful 
God put it into the hearts of his servants of the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church to send German missionaries 
among us poor scattered Gei-mans, deeply sunken in 
sin, to offer to us the salvation that is in Christ. May 
the Lord long spare the fathers of the Church ; and 
may we who come after continue to unfold the stand- 
ard of the cross ! The good leaven has already spread 
through the whole country ; and not only here in 
America, but in my old father-land, in different places, 
is this leaven beginning to spread. May the blessing 
of God rest upon his servants wherever his word is 
preached ! We may speak different languages here, 
but when we meet in our Father's house above, Ave 
shall all understand each other, and know even as we 
are known. 




I WAS born on the 12tli of January, 1824, in the 
city of Speier, Bavai'ia, Germany, when my father, 
George Ernst Christian Hertel, being counselor at 
the court of Hesse-Darmstadt, Avas on a journey, 
taking my mother with him. There I was baptized, 
and received the name " Charles Augustus Em- 
manuel ;" yet had no citizenship in that place, but 
was brought soon afterward to Oppenheim on the 
Rhine, where I lived till my fifteenth year. My first 
religious instruction, after I could read, was from the 
small Lutheran catechism, portions of which I soon 
committed to memory. Besides this I learned many 
hymns, my morning and evening prayers, and heard 
the blessing and thanksgiving pronounced at the table, 
all of which made but little impression at that time 
upon my young but sinful heart. As I grew up, great 
calculations about my future existence were made and 
passed between father and mother, especially as I was 
the first-born of my father's second matrimonial es- 
tate, there being no children then living from his first 
wife. As he was at that time already between sixty 
and seventy years, he looked with more anxiety upon 
me, and took more pains to give me all the educational 
advantages that could be had in the place where we 


lived. Accordingly I was sent to a private school, 
kept by a pastor of the Lutheran Clmrch, a mostl^ 
learned man, to begin the studies of the dead and liv- . 
ing languages, and the different branches of science. • 
After his removal from our place I "went a short time 
to the public school, and had, besides, a private 
teacher for the French language, till, at the request 
of several families, a theological gentleman, who had 
finished his course of studies in the University, and 
was now a candidate for the ministry, opened a pri- 
vate school, to Avhich my father sent me, and where I-,- 
remained till I visited the regular gymnasium or pre- - 
paratory school for the University. 

In the year 1835 my father was struck with paraly- 
sis on one side, but cured of it, so as to perform his 
duties ; but in traveling every month to Darmstadt, 
the residence of the court, he took me along in order 
to do the writing for him, and to be at his command 
in case of sickness. On one of these occasional visits, 
in the month of February, 1836, 1 was delivered from 
a sudden death, or the crippling of my body, by the im- 
mediate interposition of God's providence, which I 
will relate here to his glory, in as few words as 

In this month the sinful practice of carnivals, or 
masked balls, is prevalent in the old country. There 
was then such a ball to be held in the theater of the 
court, which was arranged into one large ball-room. 
Our host, in whose hotel my father had lodged a few 
days every month for about seven years, had the 
restaurationof the ball, and having a son of about my 
age, his wife asked permission of my father to take 
me along as company to their son, and received it 



under the promise to take care of me. From the 
moment of our arrival the good lady was employed in 
arranging her counters with refreshments, and I was 
left to promenade in the saloon and to look upon the 
masked and foolishly-dressed persons as they came in. 
I took a seat on a sofa, under the private box of the 
Grand Duke, and being so much taken up by the cos- 
tumes of the strolling persons, hardly perceived a 
large and very heavy ladder that was standing just 
before me, reaching with the top end to the box above, 
where several wax candles were yet to be lighted; 
presently, an audible voice, that seemed to come from 
behind, said to me, " Go away from here." Suddenly 
I turned and looked aside, but no person was in my 
immediate neighborhood, and behind me was the wall. 
Half frightened I rose and Avalked briskly away, but 
had not reached the other side of the stage, when I 
heard a tremendous crash ; and, lo, that ladder had 
given way on the polished dancing-floor, while a man 
was stepping up upon it in order to light the candles, 
and fell with its upper end just upon the place where 
I had been sitting a few seconds before. The man 
was taken up somewhat injured, so far as I can recol- 
lect, and I was saved by God's especial care over me. 
On the 26th of January, 1837, my father died sud- 
denly from apoplexy, when I was thirteen years old, 
and with this sad event many of my worldly pros- 
pects were blasted. Shortly before his death he gave 
each of his children a copy of the Holy Bible, except 
my youngest sister, who was only nine months old 
when he left this earthly tabernacle. He himself 
read this book not only at daytime, but almost every 
night, and we generally found it in the morning lying 


on the table in the sitting-room "when we came in. I 
often saw him stand before the window praying ; and 
I can never forget his folded hands, and silvery locks, 
and raised head, looking up toward heaven and sigh- 
ing to God ardently also for me. This made a deep 
impression upon my mind, and it has never left me. 

In the year 1838 I was confirmed, having had three 
stated ministers of the Lutheran Church for cate- 
chisers and religious instructors ; but none of these 
three so-called theologians told me of my sins, or that 
I must be born again by the Spirit of God. On the 
first day of Pentecost, that is on Sunday, after a mere 
recitation of the catechism, I was with a number of 
other boys and girls confirmed ; and, on the next day, 
We were at the regular annual dancing and other 
worldly amusements of the place, that were held in a 
beautiful little grove, about a mile from Oppenheim. 
Here we sported in honor of Bacchus and other gods, 
not much better than the heathen, shouting for joy on 
account of being free now from the hard yoke of 
learning and studying the doctrines and principles of 
our religion. In the same summer I was saved from 
an early death and a watery grave, on a bathing oc- 
casion of our private school in the river Rhine, by the 
strong hand and active swimming of our teacher. Dr. 
Frederic Eich, now Professor of Languages in the 
Gymnasium at Worms. Thanks to him, and glory to 
God, who gave him power to swim after me and 
rescue me just at the moment of my third and last 
rising from the depth of the river ! 

The time had now arrived for me to go to a higher 
school, and accordingly I was sent from home to the 
Gymnasium of Darmstadt, in the spring session of 


1839; but, the next year, I went into the first regi- 
ment of infantry, having the personal promise of the 
present Grand Duke, Ludwig III, that he would help 
me forward. About eighteen months after that, the 
good Lord led me away ; wherefore I ever will praise 
him, for his word is better than that of princes; but 
time and space allow me not to detail here the ways 
of his gracious Providence. What should I do now ? 
Well, I had always from my youth a desire to study 
medicine and to become a physician, or an ofiicer in 
the army. As this last was now made void, I accord- 
ingly went to the University and enrolled myself as 
licentiate of Veterinary Surgery, not being allowed to 
enter the regular Medical Department, because I had 
not completed the course of study in the Gymnasium. 
But this is in Germany a very good, highly-esteemed, 
and by the state sanctioned, profession ; and a young 
man is required to study three years before he can 

Here was my religion totally at an end, and no 
wonder; for I arrived at the city on Sunday morning, 
went first to a former schoolmate of mine, a student 
of theology, and after dinner he said to me with a very 
serious face: "Now, come with me and I will show 
you right away where we get the best — beer !" Ac- 
cordingly he led me to the so-called " Crooked Goose." 
After a year had elapsed my mother found that she 
could not provide me with means to finish my studies, 
because we were under the Code Napoleon. I there- 
fore went home and worked with a house-carpenter 
for one summer and fall; and, in the winter of 1844, 
I visited an architectural school in order to pass an 
examination the next spring. But I was not admitted 


to it, because a great number of young men had 
already passed it and could not be engaged. On the 
14th of November, 1845, my good mother died ; but I 
confidently expect to see her with father in heaven. 
Now my three sisters were scattered, and I left alone, 
so to speak, with my cousin, a butcher, who afterward 
held a liquor-house, where I acted as bar-keeper till 
1846, when I went to my old teacher in Worms to 
study Book-Keeping and Commercial Arithmetic. In 
the fall of this year I obtained a very good situation 
as clerk in a large lumber business and a wine cellar. 
Up to this time I had hardly been in a church half a 
dozen times, but lived a very wicked life in Sabbath- 
breaking and drinking especially; my Bible, that I 
had received from my dear father, I gave away, and 
did not care any thing about God or religion ; in fact, 
I heard nothing of it. Cursing and swearing I 
learned in the army in my sixteenth year; drinking 
and fighting in the University ; mocking at sin and 
blaspheming God in the bar-room, and so I came 
pretty near being a desperado. I left my last place 
in 1847, with the intention to go to America, but be- 
fore this point was gained I had seen many a hard 
day and many a sleepless night, and sometimes the 
devil urged me mightily to commit suicide. I became 
poor, wretched, forsaken of friends, robbed of all my 
means and clothing, without shelter or a resting-place, 
when God alone told me one day, it was I believe on 
the twenty-second of December, 1847, at four o'clock, 
P. M., before the city of Darmstadt, " Go to thy sis- 
ter." She was sixty-three miles off, but away I 
started on foot, and marched the whole distance, till 
next day at six o'clock, P. M., resting but three times. 


There I staid with her parents-in-law, for she was now 
married, and on the 16th of August, 1848, she, her 
husband, brother Hermann Briick, and myself started 
for America. My sister had loaned me the money to 
come here. We reached safely the city of New York, 
on the 5th of October, having no particular friends or 
a knowledge of the English language, and were some- 
times in great trials and distress, without knowing or 
feeling that God himself was indeed our friend, and 
had already for years been preparing the way for a 
most happy future in communion with him. By and 
by he led us into the neighborhood of the First Ger- 
man Methodist Episcopal Church, in Second-street, 
New York; and, in the month of December, it so 
happened that out of curiosity we went to hear Meth- 
odist preaching and to see those " peculiar people," 
the Methodists, of whom we had often heard very 
singular and often bad things. 

The first preacher I heard was old father Tiemann, 
a local preacher ; but under the preaching and inde- 
fatigable labors of the Rev. C. H. Doering, I was con- 
vinced of my dreadful, sinful state, as well by nature 
as by practice, and after many an inward struggle and 
wrestling with Jesus, the sinner's friend, I was en- 
abled to believe on him for forgiveness of all my past 
sins, and regeneration of my wicked heart, becoming a 
new creature in him who loved me and washed me in 
his own blood. This event, changing my whole in- 
ward and outward life, took place in the month of 
January, 1849; and about the same time I joined the 
Church on probation. 

It was but a short time after my conversion that I, 
never dreaming or feeling any desire before, but 


rather a dislike to become a minister of the Gospel, 
now felt a singular movement in my soul or spirit to 
do something for God more particular than a general 
Christian life required. It was neither a wish, nor a 
desire, neither a self-created and nourished thought, 
nor an ambitious aim of standing in the pulpit in 
order to talk merely to the people, nor was it a feeling 
pride to be somebody and to shine in the world, al- 
though I had many such desires in former years. It 
was, if I should describe it as nearly as possible, a 
singular influence upon my spirit, sometimes moving 
mightily the feelings of my heart with joy or fear 
toward God and men, different from those feelings of 
joyful gratitude, or fearful love, arising from the 
knowledge of my own conversion and the respon- 
sibility therewith upon me enjoined for remaining 
faithful and steadfast; sometimes inspiring my mind 
with the great as well as awful and lovely truths of 
the Gospel, and chasing thought after thought, making 
me, nolens volens, preach at any place where I was, 
that is silently. It was a deep impression, but not 
always equally clear and forcible, varying according to 
my own thinking and reasoning about it, that I should 
lead sinners to Christ; wherefore I went around to 
see my friends, and to talk to them about God and 
their salvation. 

One night I went up to brother Doering's room to 
give instructions to his niece in the German language, 
and on that occasion I told him I believed I should do 
something in the vineyard of the Lord. His short but 
only answer was, "Well, make it a subject of prayer." 
He never gave me more encouragement, and I am 
now very glad of it. I was willing already to go at 


any time and to any place of the world; but God had 
to prepare me first for the practical part of the pas- 
toral work, and therefore he led me in his infallible 
wisdom along a very hard, but a very good way. I 
Avas taken sick in the month of April, 1849, with 
typhus fever, in the month of June with an attack 
of the cholera that was prevailing so much at that 
time, and in July I was taken down with dysentery 
and a cramp hiccough, that kept me for seven days 
and nights almost strangling. In these states of 
disease I was greatly prostrated, but wonderfully 
strengthened in the spiritual man. I saw scenes 
which I never had seen before ; for not only the dif- 
ferent preachers of the city and vicinity came, spoke to 
me about my soul's salvation, and prayed at my bed- 
side with me, but also the members of the Church, 
male and female, were all preaching to and praying 
with me ; so that I was daily kept before the throne of 
grace in open and silent prayer, and God in his great 
mercy heard these prayers, and not only saved me 
from bodily death, but made me a pastor in his own 

My present wife had arrived from Germany as a 
Roman Catholic on the 19th of June, of that year. 
She saw me in this sorrowful, but to me blessed, con- 
dition. She was humbled and converted. On the 2d 
of September we were joined in holy matrimony by 
brother Doering, in whose house I lived from the 
beginning of the year, and where I remained till he 
went to Germany. God also destroyed by these 
humiliations my business career, in order to take care 
of me himself. After six months of probation I was 
admitted into full membership. Shortly after that 


I was licensed to exhort, and in a few weeks I received 
license to preach. On the 26th of January, 1850, 
the very day on which, thirteen years previously, my 
best earthly hopes were thrown aside by the death 
of my father, I was sent out to travel under the 
presiding elder, and directed to Rev. John Swahlen to 
supply our German mission in Newark, New Jersey, 
and alternately to help at the Washington-Street 
mission in New York. This was something of a 
hard beginning on account of the state of the society 
in Newark. 

In the month of May, 1850, I was sent to Brook- 
lyn, New York, after joining the New York confer- 
ence as a traveling preacher on probation. Brother 
Doering went on his mission to Germany, and Rev. 
Casper Jost, from Quincy, Illinois, was appointed to 
Second-Street, in New York, but did not arrive till 
the end of August. Therefore, Rev. John C. Lyon, 
presiding elder, took me away from Brooklyn to sup- 
ply the old mother Church, where I had been con- 
verted, and from whence I had been sent out. This 
was a trying arrangement for as young a minister 
as I was; yet God helped me, as I was resolved to 
be wholly sanctified unto him. My first sermon for 
the next day — Sunday morning — was founded upon 
the words, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they 
shall see God." Glory to him who is worthy of all 
glory alone ! 

After brother Jost had arrived, I was called to take 
charge of our mission in Albany and Troy, New 
York. This was a new and a hard trial for me, but 
I went in the fear of God. Besides, I had the super- 
vision over Schenectady. In the month of May, 


1851, the Bishop sent me to Poughkeepsie, -where 
the preacher had been dropped, because he could not 
pass his examination at the conference. This was a 
most trying appointment, for he labored against us, 
and half of my members were with him; but about 
four months afterward they were scattered, and we 
had peace and prosperity. At the next session I 
was appointed to Poughkeepsie circuit, embracing one 
hundred and thirty -five miles to travel; and I had 
the supervision of Calicoon circuit, which made one 
hundred and seventy miles around. I moved three 
times with my family and lost my horse on the road. 

In the year 1853, when our conference was held at 
Kingston, I was appointed to Buffalo, about five hun- 
dred miles north, with the supervision of Buffalo cir- 
cuit, where a younger man named Kurtz had to go. 
The following year I remained, but received brother 
William Buettner to this circuit. There I had two 
blessed years, and many found the Lord. Several 
new preaching-places were established that are now 
good missions with good churches in them. 

When the year 1855 came round I was appointed 
to Rochester, where God blessed me richly and abund- 
antly, and many souls were converted to God. From 
May, 1857, to 1858, I labored in the old mission in 
New York, and that year was the great revival time, 
of which we also had our blessed share. Now I am 
here in San Francisco, California, and praise the Lord 
for what he has done for such an unworthy man as I 
am. But I am resolved to spend my life in the serv- 
ice of the Lord forever. 

I wish to say that all my sisters and their husbands 
are children of God and members of the Methodist 


Episcopal Cliurch. One of them, also, is a mission- 
ary in the Rock River conference. God made me the 
instrument of bringing two of my sisters to Christ 
when we were in Poughkeepsie ; and my prayer is 
that Ave may all meet at the right hand of God, where 
we shall relate better things of the mercy and grace 
of the Lord than we can do it here with pen and ink. 





On the 11th of December, in the year 1846, after a 
sea-voyage of eleven weeks, I saw for the first time 
this happy and free America; and on the following 
day I was permitted to step on shore in a land which 
secured to me political and religious liberty, and 
which, through the boundless mercy and long-suffer- 
ing of God, has become the land of my spiritual birth. 
It was not a desire to gain riches that induced me, a 
youth of only sixteen years, to come to this country ; 
but the love of liberty and affection for my parents 
and friends, from whom I could not bear to be sepa- 

The place of our landing was New Orleans, where 
we did not remain long, as we soon set out for Louis- 
ville, the place of our destination. Here, for some 
time, I visited the Lutheran Church, whose preacher 
had himself neither true godliness nor took the least 
pains to preach it to others in his Church. He was 
in the habit of reading his sermons, of which, as he 
told me, he had a stock on hand that would last him two 
years, and when that time was out he would commence 
at the first again. When he made his pastoral visits 
he would by no means refuse a dram of Avhisky, and 


would take something better if he could get it. Such 
a course of conduct I could not approve of; and seek- 
ing further for a spiritual guide, I was drawn into 
associations which led me into the fearful vortex of 

In the commencement of my infidel life I was glad 
to have made the discovery that there were such 
plausible grounds against the Bible. I began in good 
earnest and with great zeal to fortify myself in my 
new principles, in order to counteract the numerous 
doubts and fears that arose within me in reference 
to the truths of my new discovery. The satisfaction 
I derived from my false theories was of short duration. 
I was compelled to weigh one of my principles after 
another in the scale of reason; and I thank God 
that I was not so far blinded by prejudice that I could 
not give an unbiased judgment, as far, at least, as 
an unconverted man can judge correctly in these 
matters. I now could not mingle in the Bacchanalian 
revels of the free-thinkers, not because I was too 
good, but too proud to lead an immoral life. My poor 
soul was like a helpless ship, among the reefs of a 
rock-bound coast. At times the wind appeared to 
drive it to the embraces of my blessed Savior, then 
again the storm threatened to drive it upon the rocks 
of destruction. In this way my mind was agitated 
by day and my repose was disturbed by night. I 
wanted to pray, but how was a poor sinner to pray ? 
Hear it : " If there be a God, then may he lead me in 
the right way ! Amen." This was about all I could 
say. Yet, blessed be his name ! there is a God and he 
did lead me in the right way. 

About this time, when my mind was so much 


agitated on the subject of religion, there was in the 
phice where I lived a young man, a clerk in a store, 
who sought my acquaintance and society. This he 
could the more easily gain, as I was at the same time 
also seeking a friend with whom to associate. Before 
long, we could be seen at the close of the day's labor 
in our pleasure Avalks; and my new friend in a short 
time began to recommend to me true religion, the 
possession of which had made him happy. One 
evening he took me to visit one of his friends, a 
pious old gentleman. The conversation was turned 
upon the Bible, and religion, yet with all my doubts 
and skeptical views in reference to religion, I had too 
much respect to tell the old gray-headed man that 
I did not believe in the Bible. I thought I could 
easily manage him ; but he soon nailed me fast, strik- 
ing blow after blow with his propositions which were 
so simple and powerful. He proved the Bible true 
by the Bible itself, and deeply impressed the truth 
into my mind that it was the word of God. This 
good old man, by the name of Vetter, has pointed 
many a wayward wanderer to his Father's house. 

Previous to this I had already occasionally visited 
the Methodist Church, but then I went to mock ; now 
I went to pray. My family did every thing in their 
power to keep me away from the meetings, yet all in 
vain, for I went again and again seeking the Lord, 
if he would receive and take home a prodigal son. 
It appeared at first as though he would not. I visited 
all the prayer meetings and was often at the altar 
of prayer, and could indeed say with the Psalmist, 
" My bones waxed old through my roaring all the day 
long." From my appearance I seemed to become ten 


years older in a few weeks. Finally, after the most 
fearful night, which I passed with anxious struggles, 
when I arose to perform my morning devotions, the 
blessed Savior spoke peace to my desponding heart. 
As the natural sun threw its first beams into my room 
the Sun of righteousness arose upon my poor heart. 
I shouted, I praised God, I leaped for joy. All 
things had become new within and without; I under- 
stood the Psalmist when he spoke of the trees clapping 
their hands, and the mountains skipping like lambs. 
My store was too small for me : I thought I must 
declare to the world the salvation which is in Christ. 
This was the 17th of December, 1847. On the 3d 
of January, 1848, I joined the Methodist Church, 
through the members of which I had come to a 
knowledge of the truth. 

I soon had strong impressions to go out as a mis- 
sionary to preach the Gospel to my countrymen, to 
which brothers Kisling and Danker encouraged me. 
But business relations made it impossible for me to 
devote myself to this work. From Louisville I moved 
to Burlington, Iowa, where for a number of years I 
endeavored to make myself useful as a local preacher; 
till, finally compelled by the reproofs of my con- 
science, I vowed to God to follow the first opening 
of the way to devote myself wholly to the service 
of his Church. 

I did not have to wait long. The way was soon 
opened, and notwithstanding I had a lucrative busi- 
ness, I followed the directions of Pravidence and the 
call of the Church; and on the 24th of October, I, 
with the faithful companion of my life, left home and 
friends, beloved parents, and a lovely society, with 


whom we had been bound in the bond of Christian 
fellowship, and started for Bloomington, Illinois, as 
an itinerant preacher of the Methodist Church. Here 
I labored two years, and have reason to thank God 
my labor was not in vain. The Lord owned his word, 
and raised up a goodly number of spiritual children. 
As I am concluding this brief sketch, I thank my 
merciful heavenly Father for all his providence, grace, 
and mercy; and with joy I raise mine Ebenezer, 
"Hitherto the Lord had helped me." 


Mergelstetten, at the foot of the Alps in the 
Swabian land, is the place where I first saw the light 
of life, on the 16th of September, 1827. My parents 
were members of the Lutheran Church, and believed 
in religion as it had been handed down to them from 
their fathers, but without having any experience of 
a change of heart. They regularly read their morn- 
ing and evening prayers, and went twice to Church 
every Sabbath, and without exception made their 
children go with them. It is no uncommon thing in 
my native country for families to get into quarrels, 
and curse and swear at each other before and after 
reading their morning and evening prayers. 

In such a condition I lived with my parents and 
six children till the year 1846. Three years before 
this some young men from our neighborhood went 
to America, and wrote back beautiful and interesting 
letters, about the advantages and glory of the New 
World, the independence and happiness of its in- 
habitants, and the good fortune of all who went there. 
These letters excited many, and especially my two 



older sisters and myself, to go to America, and -we 
begged and entreated our parents night and day to 
emigrate to the land of freedom. I know not what 
so especially excited me to go. Of liberty I then 
had no proper conception; riches I did not want; 
but there was an inexpressible longing desire that 
drew me to America. I can now see that a gracious 
Providence led us out, not only to give us political, 
but also spiritual liberty, and to save us from eternal 

On the 24th of August, 1846, our ship landed at 
the harbor in New York ; and how delighted we were, 
on approaching the city, to see the beautiful country, 
with its green hills and elegant shrubbery, its rural 
cottages and well-cultivated gardens ! The city did 
not interest us much, as we were common country 
folks, and could scarcely find our way through the 
bustle and confusion. Our aim was to procure a piece 
of land where we might apply our energies, and live 
in our own cottage, and eat the products of our own 
labors, free from anxious care. We accordingly set- 
tled in the then new and flourishing territory of Wis- 
consin. Here we went to work and felled the tall 
trees, as fast as possible, to clear our ground ; and on 
the following harvest we had raised enough to supply 
our wants. We lived two years without seeing a 
preacher, or any one who cared for our souls. There 
was no converted person in the neighborhood, and we 
generally spent Sunday in hunting and sporting ; but 
in this I did not find much pleasure, and there was no 
day so long to me as the Sabbath. 

In the fall of 1848 we heard, to our great joy, that 
a German preacher was to conduct religious services 


In the house of my brother-in-law. The whole neigh- 
borhood, old and young, assembled on the occasion, 
so that the house could not contain them all. The 
man gave us an excellent sermon, and I remarked to 
a neighbor of ours that he preached differently, and 
more earnestly than our ministers in Germany. " 0," 
said he, " you only think so because we have not heard 
preaching for so long a time." The next appoint- 
ment was made for that day three weeks ; at which 
time the preacher took for his text these words, " One 
thing is needful;" and it appeared to me that I had 
never before heard what was needful for me. A cer- 
tain restlessness was excited within me, and I now 
saw, for the first time in my life, that religion did not 
consist alone in outward ceremonies, but must dwell 
in the heart. Up to this time we did not know what 
kind of preacher this was ; but as my sister, who was 
living in Milwaukie, and who had there been awakened 
and converted under Methodist preaching, in a visit 
to us, told us a great many things about the Method- 
ists, we were quite certain that this man must be a 
Methodist preacher, and so he proved. 

Through the love and kindness of our English 
brethren of the Methodist Church there was a mis- 
sionary sent to us lost sheep, who was the first to 
blow the Gospel trumpet in those regions ; and many 
of us, too, for the first time in our lives, heard the 
Gospel from a man who had experienced in his own 
heart that the Gospel is the power of God unto sal- 
vation to all them that believe. Soon after this the 
sacrament of the Lord's supper was administered, and 
the presiding elder, brother Eisenmeier, was present. 
He preached with power, and produced more deep 


impressions upon my mind than any man had ever 
done. My conscience was waked up, and many others 
were convinced that they must be converted. I now 
had a great desire for mercy and pardon, but was ig- 
norant of the way, and thought I could only expect 
acceptance with God when I had made myself better. 
In this condition I lived nearly a whole year ; some- 
times I thought I was converted, and then my sins 
would rise again, and my courage failed, and I also 
yet clung to the world. On this account I did not 
obtain the full rest of the soul. But with all this 
I daily searched the Scriptures and other good books, 
read a great deal, and also commenced praying in the 
family, as my father was now dead, and I was the 
oldest of the children. 

In the year 1849 I felt in my heart that an entire 
surrender was demanded of me, and that it was es- 
pecially my duty to join the Church, which up to 
this time I had neglected to do. On the 26th of 
December my mother and myself, with two more of 
our family, joined the Church, and this was a great 
blessing to me. We had already established a Sab- 
bath school, in which I took an active part, and in- 
structed the larger children. I was soon appointed 
class-leader, and with what little grace I had I im- 
proved my talent, so that the Lord constantly added 
a little more, and in the fall of the next year it fell 
to my lot to enter upon my first field of labor as a 
missionary to the Germans. Within me I felt a great 
love for my countrymen ; and after I was licensed to 
exhort, I often went on foot, from seven to twelve 
miles and back the same day, in order to encourage 
my countrymen to seek the Lord ; but to go out as 


preacher, with my limited knowledge and experience, 
I thought was too much for me. I asked for time to 
prepare myself better for the work, but the word was, 
" Say not I am too young, but go whither thou art 
sent," The men for the work were scarce, and the 
field was large. 

Owing to my youth and inexperience in the work, 
I might have taken some wrong steps that would have 
resulted in evil to myself and been injurious to -the 
cause ; and, from my own experience, I was fully con- 
vinced of the importance of sending young men with 
older and more experienced ones to counsel and in- 
struct them in the duties and work of the ministry. 
Yet with all my youth and inexperience in the work, 
the Lord blessed us, and a number of souls were con- 
verted. The next year I was sent as missionary to 
Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Since that time I have been 
laboring in different fields, and I am now in Burling- 
ton, Iowa. In this city, as well as in all my other 
fields of labor, I have found many Germans, a large 
number of whom were prejudiced against us, because 
the Roman Catholics, as well as Lutherans, believe 
that the Churches to which they belong are the only 
true Churches, and to join any other would be falling 
from the true faith. But the Gospel which we preach 
soon teaches them a better way, and many who, in 
their blindness, like Saul, had persecuted the people 
of God, are converted, and become zealous defenders 
of his cause. Especially can we do much among the 
children by our Sunday schools, and to this object 
our excellent Sunday school books contribute much. 

When I look back upon my past ministry, and 
think of the number of Sunday schools I have been 


instrumental in forming, I am led to exclaim, " Bless 
the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits," 
I heartily thank God that I am a citizen of the freest 
and happiest land on the earth, and that he has made 
me free from the bondage of sin, the power of the 
devil, and the fear of death. I further thank him 
that I am a member of the Methodist Church, ^Yhich 
taketh care of her youth as a mother careth for her 
children, and so richly supplies them with the sincere 
milk of the word, and seeks to raise them up to the 
fullness of the stature of men in Christ Jesus. Es- 
pecially do I thank God that he has counted me 
worthy to declare the riches of his grace to sinners 
far and near. Notwithstanding some complain of the 
hardships of the itinerant preacher's life, I do not, 
and shall not, complain ; and although we have some- 
times hard fare and a small support, yet when the 
treasures of the rich shall pass away, and this world 
shall be consumed by the fires of the judgment-day, 
then the Judge shall say to those who have labored 
in his vineyard, " Behold, I come quickly, and my 
reward is with me." May the Lord God of all grace 
keep me, and all his followers, faithful to the end, and 
establish his kingdom in all lands ! 


I was born of Lutheran parents, and brought up 
in the doctrines of their Church, and was, accord- 
ing to custom, by confirmation at a suitable age, 
identified with the Church. Though in iny early 
days I had a longing desire for spiritual food, yet 
I was without power, and had no one to direct me 
where I could find peace to my soul. 

*" HENRY HENKE. 319 

Since the Lord gave the light of his grace to shine 
into my heart, I have often thought back upon my 
past life, but I can not recollect that I was ever in- 
structed in the doctrine of repentance toward God 
and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ for the pardon 
of sins. I was early convinced that the restraining 
grace of God often worked in my heart, directing and 
protecting me when the enemy of my soul sought to 
destroy me. As I advanced in years I increased in 
wickedness ; yet the merciful Savior did not withdraw 
his eye of compassion from me. 

In my youthful days I was passionately fond of 
playing and dancing, and often returned to my home 
at the dawn of the morning ; but this was frequently 
not so tormenting to my conscience as when I re- 
turned home at midnight ; for when I laid me down 
to sleep, in the darkness of the night, my conscience 
would wake up and reproach me for my folly. Under 
its reproofs I often wept, and promised to forsake my 
follies, but I lacked the power to do so, and had not 
been instructed to turn to the Savior, who alone could 
help me. Thus I would keep my promise to do bet- 
ter, only till the next temptation to do evil ; and this 
was never later than the following Sabbath. 

Under these circumstances two important objects 
were impressed upon my mind ; either to devote my- 
self to the military service, or to go to America. In 
this unsettled state I spent several years, till finally I 
was received into the military service. I soon be- 
came dissatisfied with my situation, and then thoughts 
of emigrating to America were again so strongly im- 
pressed upon my mind that I spared neither pains 
nor money to gain my release from military service. 


When, on the 25th of June, 1836, I succeeded in ob- 
taining it, I immediately made my arrangements to go ; 
and on the 26th of the same month I left my parental 
home to come to America. In the good providence 
of God I arrived at Wheeling, Virginia, on the 8th of 
October in the same year. Here I lived partly con- 
tented, and had not the opportunities to follow my in- 
clination to sin. 

In 1838 the Lord led brother Swahlen to Wheel- 
ing, and began to manifest his power in the awakening 
and conversion of a number of souls, among whom 
Avere some of my friends. They labored with me, 
but to all outward appearance without effect. They 
could not induce me to attend their meetings, though 
I finally commenced praying in secret to God, asking 
him, if I was right not to allow others to deceive me, 
but if I was wrong to lead me to the right way. On 
Sunday, the 24th of February, 1839, 1 subscribed my- 
self anew to the Lutheran Church. Through the 
week my brother-in-law sought to persuade me to go to 
his church, which I however refused to do. On Sun- 
day morning his wife came to invite me, but I again 
refused ; my dear wife then urged me to go to the 
Methodist meeting, and said Ave could go this once, 
and on the next Sunday we could attend the Lutheran 
church again. I at length consented to go. When I 
came to the church I kneeled down and prayed that 
God should lead me in the right way. I found noth- 
ing to object to and nothing to convince me that I was 
Avrong. In the afternoon I Avent to class, and in the 
evening to preaching again without much effect upon 
my mind. At the close of the sermon brother Swah- 
len gave an invitation for penitents to come to the 


altar of prayer, and under this invitation the Spirit of 
God powerfully affected my heart. Through the grace 
of God I accepted the invitation, and kneeled at the 
altar to call on the name of the Lord. My prayer 
was heard, a new song was put into my mouth, even 
praise to God; and I was now not ashamed to be 
called a Methodist. On the same evening, March 3, 
1889, I joined the Church. The following Monday, 
as one of the leading members of the Lutheran 
Church went out to collect for their preacher, I paid 
him my subscription, and requested that my name be 
taken from their Church-book. 

I then felt a deep interest for the cause of God, 
and the first year of my membership I became class- 
leader, steward, and trustee. In the third year it was 
suggested to me by my preacher, Rev. C. C. Best, 
that I might be useful if I would devote myself to the 
service of the Church and the preaching of the Gospel. 
I replied that I could not accept this sacred ofEce. 
After this strange thoughts passed through my mind. 
I became restless, and committed the matter in prayer 
to God, thinking that if he wanted me in his vine- 
yard he would open the way for me to go into the 
work. Thus several years passed away, but my de- 
sire to labor for God increased. I was licensed to 
exhort and soon afterward to preach; and, in a short 
time, my mind became so strangely impressed with 
my duty to go out and labor for souls, that I could 
scarcely restrain myself. When I mentioned the mat- 
ter to my wife she made objections to my going, 
and asked me whether I would ruin my family, and 
said that if I went she would not go with me. I was 
tempted to give up the idea of going, but my con- 


science was not quieted long, and I had such inward 
conflicts that I felt it was a solemn mockerj for me to 
pray the Lord to revive his work, and at the same 
time to be unwilling to labor for his cause. 

When I resolved to go in spite of all difficulties I 
felt joyful ; when I refused again I became gloomy 
and sorrowful. When the brethren in the quarterly 
conference gave me a recommendation to the annual 
conference, I told brother Doering not to rely on me 
till they heard from me at conference, and committed 
myself to the Lord in prayer. My dear wife, how- 
ever, was unmoved till the time came for me to write 
to the conference, and then I asked her what I should 
write. She answered, weeping, " Write as you please." 
I reported my case to brother Doering, and told him 
that I would go. I received my appointment for 
Malaga, and went with my family to my appointed 
field of labor, and commenced in weakness, but with 
joy, to labor. My prayer was that the Lord would 
grant me much grace to be useful in his vineyard, and 
bring many immortal souls to the knowledge of the 
truth. I thank God that he has inclined the heart of 
my wife to go with me to this work, so that now in- 
stead of complaining she prays that the Lord may 
make me useful. 

Blessed be God and our Savior Jesus Christ, for 
his love which I enjoy with mine. May the Lord bring 
many precious souls to a knowledge of himself! 





In the year 1838, as many of my relations and ac- 
quaintances had determined to go to America, I too, 
although only in my sixteenth year, desired to be- 
come an emigrant to the New World. As I was the 
only child, there was very little prospect that my pa- 
rents would allow me to go alone. They themselves, 
especially my father, had not the most distant idea of 
emigrating, inasmuch as they had a competence for 
their subsistence in their father-land. Yet He who 
controls the hearts of men by his gracious providence, 
so overruled our affairs that, to my great joy, my pa- 
rents rather than see me go alone were willing also to 
go to America. Arrangements were made to sell 
house, vineyard, land, and all ; and in the spring of 
1839 we started on our journey. On the 15th of May, 
with many tears and the good wishes of our friends, 
we bade farewell to our old home ; and, on the 7th of 
September, in the same year, we, for the first time, set 
foot on American soil. As it was not our object to 
remain in a large city, in a few days after our land- 
ing we went country-wards, and settled in one of the 
most beautiful villages of Pennsylvania. Scarcely 
had we become rested from our long journey when 


my father was taken sick, and in one montli from our 
arrival in America he died. Yet God, who knoweth 
the heart of the stranger, manifested himself to us as 
a friend and a helper in our time of need. 

When I left my home I was a member of the Lu- 
theran Church, but I was a stranger to experimental 
godliness. God, in a wonderful manner, awakened 
me while we were on board the ship at sea, to see my 
sinful and lost condition, and to show me that I must 
be born again. But how or in what manner this was 
to be accomplished I did not know. I had no one to 
give me instruction, or lead me in the way to the Sa- 
vior. I felt sorrowful and cast down, and frequently 
sought to conceal my feelings, but in vain ; I finally 
came to the delusive thought thj^t I would feel better 
if I were to go to sonre oiher part of the country, 
or to some other city. Accordingly I bade my mother 
farewell, and sel out afoot on ;i^ journey over the 
Alleghany Mountains, for Pittsburg ; but a strange 
feeling still seemed to urge me on. Restless and dis- 
contented I left Pittsburg and came down the Ohio 
river to Cincinnati, and from thence I went to Louis- 
ville, and still on to St. Louis, then up the Mississippi 
till I reached the borders of Minnesota. But even 
there I did not find my long-sought rest. Accord- 
ingly I descended the river till I came to New Or- 
leans, and reached there just at the time when Rev. 
P. Schmucker, one of the first German missionaries, 
was establishing a German mission in that city. I 
was earnestly seeking rest for my heavy-laden soul, 
but here too I was disappointed, for I did not seek 
in the right way nor turn my attention to the right 


Finally, after wandering for a long time in the mazes 
of error, and feeling sin's disease preying upon me, 
I concluded to go to my mother again, and came up 
the Mississippi. On my way from New Orleans to 
Louisville I became acquainted with two men, the 
one a Jew and the other a Roman Catholic. They 
urged me strongly to tarry some days in Louisville, 
where they also lived. A gracious providence so 
ordered it that I obtained a home in a Christian fam- 
ily. There were several other young men boarding 
at the same place. Here I saw many things that I 
liked very much. A blessing was asked at the table 
and prayer was had in the family every morning and 
evening. Every member of the family treated me 
with the utmost kin<!||3eS8. ^nd the young men man- 
ifested a deep interesi-m u^j welfare, so that I felt 
myself at once "'quite at Home with them. They took 
me Avith them'H^,Achui"ch, and also here I was well 
satisfied. The wor^ of CrOd, which I had not heard 
for several years io^ thgj-'Crerman language, deeply 
penetrated my heart, and I constantly saw more 
clearly how and in what way I yas to be delivered 
from the burden of my sins; namely, that I must 
give up my hope founded on baptism and confirmation 
and receive Christ and his merits by faith alone. 

It was well for me that I did not know this kind 
family were Methodists when I first took up my 
residence with them, for already in Pennsylvania I 
had been warned against the Methodists, and heard 
many things said against them. I was, therefore, 
much astonished and somewhat alarmed when I heard 
one day that these people were Methodists. Yet I 
was convinced that they were good people, let others 


say of them what they would ; and I knew that by 
their kindness to me they sought my welfare, for I 
never had been treated so kindly by any from the day 
that I had left my home. By their love they gained 
me, and on Easter-day, in the year 1842, I cast in 
my lot with the despised Methodists, and in the fall 
of the same year, at a camp meeting near New 
Albany, in Indiana, the Lord permitted me to find 
my long-sought treasure, and spoke peace to my 
soul. Now the clouds of error and darkness passed 
away. The happiness for which I had long been 
seeking I now possessed. My mother at first was 
deeply grieved on account of the course I had 
taken — for she felt distressed that her only child 
should fall from the faith of our fathers; but after- 
ward, when she came to me, she took the same course, 
became a Methodist, and lived a faithful member of 
the Church during the remai»der of her life. She 
died in the triumphs of faith, and has gone to her 
reward in heaven. 

Soon after my conversien I felt strongly moved 
to preach the Gospel, but I felt that the lot of a 
Methodist preacher — to be poor and neglected — was 
a hard one. I therefore avoided every offer to do 
something in the way of talking to the people, and 
where I could not avoid being called upon I often 
excused myself against my own conscience. Besides 
this I believed that if the Lord had called me to 
preach he would find ways and means to put me into 
the ministry without my putting myself forward, and 
that if it must be so that I shall go out and preach 
the Gospel I will have this comfort, that I did not 
urge myself forward. I changed my residence to 


Burlington, Iowa, at the time when Rev. L. S. 
Jacoby was presiding elder on Quincy district, to 
which Burlington then belonged, and thought myself 
in the most safe condition; but a door was opened for 
me into the ministry, which I could not refuse to 

When brother Nast heard that I had gone to Bur- 
lington he recommended me to brother Jacoby, who 
was the right man to bring me into the work. The 
Lord, also, in his good providence, so changed my 
affairs in other respects that in the fall of 1848, with 
a reliance upon the promise of God and his grace, I 
started out to preach the Gospel. I have had some 
hard and toilsome fields during the past ten years 
while I have been laboring in the vineyard of the 
Lord ; but hitherto the Lord hath helped me. I thank 
him that he has counted me worthy and made me wil- 
ling to enter upon his service as a minister of his word. 


On the 19th of September, in the year 1851, I 
first set my feet on American soil, and soon after 
landing, I, with another young man, came to Cincin- 
nati, Ohio, where I had some relatives living. After 
a long search I found them, and was very much sur- 
prised and disappointed when I learned that both 
my uncles were members of the German Methodist 
Church. I was strongly inclined to infidelity, and in 
my heart an enemy to the religion of Jesus Christ. I 
had already denounced the course which the Methodist 
Episcopal Church had taken in sending her mission- 
aries to Germany, and therefore despised and pitied 
my relatives, who, as I thought, had been misled by 


them, and could hardly make up my mind to associ- 
ate -with them. But as I considered myself firmly 
grounded in my unbelief, I liacf no fears of being 
shaken in my principles or misled by the Methodists. 
Soon after my arrival here a friend of mine invited 
me one Sunday to go with him to Wesley Chapel. 
After some little objections I concluded to go. The 
earnestness of the preacher, the solemn stillness of 
the large congregation, interrupted occasionally by a 
hearty amen, the melodious singing, pouring out from 
hearts that seemed to feel what they sung, all this — 
although I did not understand a word of it — im- 
pressed me favorably. Early on the following Sun- 
day my friend came to me again, and requested me 
to take a walk with him. I thought he intended to 
take me out to show me the curiosities of the city. 
On our walk he stopped in front of the Buckeye- 
Street German Methodist church, and told me he 
was going in to attend the meeting, and asked me if 
I would not come in too. I was not sure that I could 
find the way back to my boarding-house, as I was a 
stranger in the city; and accordingly, though with 
some reluctance, I went into the church with him. 
This was the first time I had ever been in a German 
Methodist church. It was on the first Sabbath in 
November, in the year 1851. Instead of being dis- 
satisfied I was interested in the religious exercises, 
and from that time forward visited the church twice 
every Sunday, and gradually felt a change going on 
within me. I began to entertain serious doubts 
about the truth of my infidel principles, and lost my 
relish for the sinful amusements to which I had been 


I began to searcli the Scriptures with diligence and 
care, and prayed to God to lead me in the right way. 
The more I searched, the more my doubts increased. 
I now had no rest, day nor night, and the thoughts of 
meeting a holy and a righteous God, with all my sins 
upon me, and of being eternally separated from the 
object of all good — all this caused me to fear and 

In this condition I visited a preacher of the Ger- 
man Reformed Church, and obtained his permission 
to attend the sacrament of the Lord's supper, but 
neither during preaching nor at the communion table 
did I find rest to my soul. 

More depressed than ever I went on Christmas 
night to the German Methodist church on Race-street. 
The word preached sank deeply into my heart; I 
thought these are the people of God ; my love toward 
them increased, and the same evening I joined the 
Church. I longed for the evidence that Christ Avas 
formed in my heart the hope of glory, and I was deter- 
mined not to give up seeking till I had the witness 
that my name was written in the book of life. 

I went to the altar of prayer every time an invita- 
tion was given ; and about the middle of January, 
1852, it pleased God to draw me out of the horrible 
pit and to set my feet on the Rock of Ages. It is 
out of my power to describe the happiness that I en- 
joyed then. I had such a clear witness of my con- 
version that I have never doubted the reality of it. 

Shortly after, I left Cincinnati and moved to St. 

Mary's, Ohio, where I lived nine months. I here felt 

quite lonely, as there was no German society of the 

Methodist Church here ; but I found a great many of 



my old companions in unbelief. I pitied them, and 
wished that I could be a help to them, and show them 
how glorious is the way of salvation. In order to do 
something for their eternal welfare, I went from house 
to house, distributing tracts. I also established a 
Sunday school, and engaged as many of my country- 
men in it as I could. 

Rev. Ralph Wilcox, who was at that time pastor of 
the Methodist congregation, encouraged me to preach 
to the Germans, which I did, but only for a short time. 
Rev. Dr. Nast also pointed out my duty to me ; but I 
never thought that I could be useful as a laborer in 
the Lord's vineyard. In October, 1852, I moved to 
Defiance, Ohio. The first time I met Rev. P. B. 
Backer, preacher in charge, he told me that I must 
go to the conference with him the next fall. This was 
quite unexpected to me, because to avoid preaching 
was just the reason that I left St. Mary's, and now 
there seemed to be no escape. I was often requested 
to accept license as exhorter, but I would in nowise 
consent to it. But God has ways and means to direct 
our steps. Once, when I was riding on horseback, 
the horse ran away with me, while my right foot stuck 
fast in the stirrup. Amid the most intense pains I 
promised God to obey him if he would keep me from 
becoming a cripple. I put several questions to my- 
self, as. Is it perhaps pride, or a desire for a comfort- 
able life and honor ? My answer was that the Meth- 
odist preachers had the least cause for being proud, 
and that they enjoyed little rest and comfort, and that 
they could easily bear their honor. But what troubled 
me the most were the words of the Lord to Ezekiel, 
chapter iii, 17, 18. It was terrible to me that the 


blood of each soul that might bo lost on my account 
should be required of me. I resolved now to try it 
one year, and accepted license as an exhorter, and 
was astonished to find that my mind was greatly re- 
lieved of a heavy burden, and peace and happiness 
took possession of my soul. 

In 1853 the quarterly conference of Defiance mis- 
sion. North Indiana district, gave me license to preach, 
and recommended me to the South-Eastern Indiana 
conference. At the close of the first year I told my 
presiding elder that, according to my promise, I had 
tried now one year, and should like to be dismissed, 
but he would not consent to it. 

After preaching for five years in Indiana, the state 
of my health required a change of country, and I 
consequently selected Minnesota. I am praying to 
God continually that he may give me grace and 
strength to discharge my duties faithfully, that, after 
preaching to others, I myself may not become a 


I was born and brought up in the evangelical Lu- 
theran Church, baptized when an infant, and confirmed 
at fourteen years of age. I attended to the ceremo- 
nies of religion, and believed myself a good Christian ; 
though after we had gone to meeting on Sabbath fore- 
noon and heard a sermon, in the afternoon we went 
to drinking-houses, to balls, and places of amusement, 
and knew nothing of a change of heart or the new 

In the year 1836, at the age of eighteen, I emi- 
irrated to America. On the 1st of June I landed in 


New York, but soon left for the west, and settled in 
St. Louis. At the age of twentj-three I was married, 
and after this went more regularly to church, and put 
more restraints upon myself, refraining from many of 
the amusements in which I had previously indulged. 
I went every Sabbath to the evangelical Lutheran 
church, and became acquainted with some converted 
people, and was gradually convinced of the import- 
ance and necessity of conversion. 

Our minister preached repentance, and brought 
many so far that they were awakened and under 
deep conviction ; but here he stopped. When some 
of his members came to him, under awakening, and 
told him they felt their sins as a heavy load, and 
wished^to get counsel and advice, he would tell them 
to go out, take exercise, and divert the mind from 
such serious reflections, and not to think too deeply 
on the subject of religion. Thus he advised, instead 
of pointing them to the Savior, and explaining to 
them the nature of that true faith by which the sinner 
receives Christ, and obtains pardon through his merits. 

About this time brother Jacoby came to St. Louis 
as missionary, and began to preach. This was in the 
year 1841. Now, one after another of our people 
who had been partially awakened went to hear him, 
and before I was aware of it many of them had 
joined the Methodist Church. Neither myself nor 
our preacher liked it, and though I knew that I must 
be converted, if I would be saved, I did not wish to 
become a Methodist. We also began to hold prayer 
meetings in our church ; but as a great part of our 
congregation were not disposed to seek for salvation, 
they were not willing to have prayer meetings held in 


ilie church, and said if any wished to pray they 
might pray at home. They woukl not, as they said, 
imitate the Methodists. I plainly saw that there was 
a poor prospect for conversion where so much indiffer- 
ence was manifested ; and from time to time I went 
to the Methodist church. The word which I heard 
there took effect on my heart, tears rolled from my 
eyes, and a voice whispered within me, as the preacher 
described the character of the sinner, " Thou art the 
man." The customs of the Methodist Church inter- 
ested me, and especially did I like the practice of 
calling penitents to the altar of prayer. My con- 
science told me that this was the place for me, but the 
name of Methodist I could not endure. Still I went 
more to the Methodist meetings than to the Lutheran. 
Yet how remarkable a gracious Providence over- 
rules all things. One day my wife came to me in my 
shop, and said to me, " See what a beautiful book I 
have brought from one of our neighbors." I told her 
to take it to the house and I would examine it in 
the evening. I read in this book till midnight. It 
invited the sinner to Christ, and described the salva- 
tion offered by him to the sinner, and taught me that 
only such as were converted could finally be saved. 
In the same week I received a letter from two of my 
sisters living in the state of Ohio, who told me that 
the Lord had converted their souls, and how happy 
and blessed a thing it is to be a true Christian. They 
also urged me to become a true Christian. My heart 
was so affected that I could scarcely read the letter 
through. This was another arrow to my heart. They 
told me they had joined the Methodist Church, and 
I said to myself, If they have become Methodists, 


why may not I? My mind was at once made up, and 
on the next Sabbath I went to the church with the 
determination to join. 

It was the time of quarterly meeting, and as the 
preacher was reading the consecration prayer in the 
administi-ation of the sacrament of the Lord's supper, 
I became so affected that I wept and sobbed, and cried 
aloud: "God be merciful to me a sinner." But I did 
not then obtain an evidence of my pardon. How- 
ever, I joined the Church. This was on the 9th of 
March, 1845. 

I sought the Savior for five months, neglected no 
opportunity to obtain an interest in the prayers of 
the Church, went to all the meetings night and day, 
and sometimes lay for hours upon my knees calling 
upon God for mercy. My resolution was to obtain 
pardon and peace, let it cost what it might, and some- 
times I lay for hours on the ground all alone in the 
stillness of the night, pleading and making my sup- 
plication before a throne of grace. As I had thus 
been seeking four months I became almost discouraged, 
because I did not obtain the pardon of my sins. I 
scarcely knew what I should do. 

In the mean time the St. Louis German camp meet- 
ing approached. I at first thought I would not go, as 
I had heard so many things against camp meetings. 
I was willing to be a Methodist; but to camp meeting 
I thought that I could not go. Yet when the time 
arrived I thought it best not to listen to what others 
said against them, but to go and see for myself. On 
Sabbath morning I w^ent quite early, and when I 
arrived at the camp-ground the impression was made 
on my mind that this is to be the place of my con- 


version. I was soon so affected that I could neither 
eat nor drink, but the happy hour for my deliverance 
at last came; on Sabbath evening, August 17, 1845, 
between nine and ten o'clock I obtained peace with 
God. I was so filled with joy that I scarcely knew 
whether I was in the body or out of the body. 

Six months after this I was appointed class-leader; 
which oflSce I did not wish to take, but a good sister 
gave me an earnest exhortation on this subject, and 
advised me to do the best I could. I led the class 
from that time, and in communing together we had 
many glorious and happy hours. 

In a year after my conversion I felt that I must 
do something more for the cause of God, but I knew 
not what. I knew that I could not preach ; my work- 
shop was almost too small for me, and I felt like 
going out into the world; but then the question 
would come again, What shall I do? I thought I 
might be useful as a colporteur to sell books, visit 
the people at their houses, talk to them and pray 
with them, and tell them they must be converted. 
Sometimes I prayed that the Lord might deliver me 
from these impressions. This struggle went on in 
my mind during the summer of 1847, and in the fall 
about conference time I received license to exhort 
under the administration of brother Kuhl. Three 
months afterward I received license to preach, and 
was soon sent out on a mission where the preacher 
had died. When asked whether I was willing to go 
I requested two weeks' time to think over the matter, 
during which I laid it before the Lord in earnest 
prayer, asking him that if it were not his will that 
I should go to hedge up my way. 


I was at last as fully convinced of my call to 
preach the Gospel as I had been that I was converted. 
My labors have not been in vain in the Lord. I have 
seen some glorious revivals, and hundreds of souls 
brought to Christ. I have now been eleven years iu 
the itinerant work, and am still willing to labor in the 
cause of God. 





In a small romantic village in Saxe-Weimar on the 
2d of February, 1830, I first saw the light of this 
world. My parents, as well as nearly all the inhabit- 
ants of our small duchy, belonged to the Protestant 
Church, and by baptism in infancy, and confirmation 
at fourteen years of age, I was received into the 
same Church. In early life I had a great inclination 
to learn, and our preacher often requested my father 
to send me to a high-school. Though he was able^ 
he could not be induced to do so till after my con- 
firmation, when he already felt symptoms of his ap- 
proaching dissolution. Soon after my departure from 
home he died. 

At the Gymnasium or College every thing seemed 
strange to me. I felt lonely; yet this resulted in 
good to me, for it induced me to pray. I shed many 
a tear, and made many a vow, and had I then been 
instructed in the right way I might have been con- 
verted. But neither the pupils nor our teachers knew 
any thing of God's grace. The leaven of rationalism 
had spread through almost every high-school in Ger- 
many. The morality of the heathen philosophers 
was, if not exalted above the Bible, put on the same 
level with it, and frequently the word of God was 



made the subject of derision or mockery. But won- 
derful are the ways of the Lord. I was not long 
enough here for the good seed sown in my heart by 
a praying mother to be entirely eradicated, I had 
entertained thoughts of becoming a preacher, and 
was pursuing my studies with this intention, but was 
compelled to abandon the project on account of my 
health. For after I had been at the school a few 
years I became sick, and physicians advised me to 
engage in some active outdoor employment. I then 
chose an agricultural calling, but as I could not find 
a good situation, in the fall of 1849 I came to Amer- 
ica. This was a source of great grief to my aged 
mother, as she believed that by going from under her 
care I would finally sink into infidelity and be lost. 
Although at that time she knew nothing of evangel- 
ical repentance and conversion, yet she feared God 
and prayed earnestly, and I am certain that her pray- 
ers, like those of Cornelius, were heard. I came to 
this country careless and thoughtless, and would 
doubtless have been carried away by the stream of 
destruction, if it had not been for her prayers and 

I had, indeed, left my native land with the de- 
termination to become a better man; and principally 
on this account I came to America, because I had 
frequently heard that there was more religion here 
than in Germany. But scarcely had I arrived here 
before all these things were forgotten ; and, when God 
through his good providence brought me among his 
people in Dayton, Ohio, I was so far gone astray as 
to oppose religion and persecute those who professed 
it. Yet it was not long till I was convinced of the 


error of my ways. Now, although I had become will- 
ing to repent of my sins, I was not willing to become 
a Methodist. The first time that I went to the altar 
for the prayers of the Church, after we had prayed 
for some time, several that had kneeled by my side 
arose and gave the preacher, brother Ahrens, their 
hands. But as no public invitation had been given 
that I had heard, I did not know what this meant, and 
supposed it to be an expression of their good wishes 
for the preacher. As I desired also to express my 
kind feeling for him, I also arose and gave him my 
hand. He asked me my name, which I told him with- 
out hesitation. But how was I surprised when I came 
home and my uncle told me that by that act I had 
joined the Methodist Church! At first I felt vexed 
about it ; but I have since often looked at that blunder 
with a thankful heart, for I might otherwise have gone 
away and remained in an unconverted state. 

As I now had the name of Methodist, I at once 
determined to seek till I found what they professed to 
enjoy. I sought earnestly, and after two weeks I 
found, on the 24th of December, 1849, at the altar of 
prayer, the pardon of my sins in the blood of Christ. 
As much as I had previously despised the people of 
God, so much the more I loved them now; and as 
much as I had felt lonely in this country, so much the 
more I felt myself at home, especially among God's 
people. I wrote to my mother and told her what the 
Lord had done for my soul, and that I was now re- 
solved to remain in America, and wished that my 
friends would all come here too. Yet the ways of 
the Lord were not according to my plan. My mother 
had not the most distant idea of coming to America; 


Lut, on the contrary, held me to the promise which I 
made when I left her to visit her again. She told me 
most positively that if I ever expected to get any 
thing of my father's estate I must come for it. So I 
found myself under the necessity to go ; and, with a 
timid and fearful heart, I commenced my journey in 
the following July. On the first of September, 1850, 
I arrived at home. 

As I knew of no converted person wdth whom I 
could hold communion, I thought to return as soon as 
possible. But scarcely w^as it reported that I had re- 
turned before several of my old acquaintances called 
to see me. They had been brought to reflection by 
my letters from America, and had come to inquire 
after this new way. I then began to witness for 
Jesus, and to testify of that which he had done for 
my soul, telling them what he would do also for them, 
and exhorted them and prayed with them. God, who 
is strength in weakness, blessed his word, and soon 
several souls were converted to God and praised him 
with new tongues. This, of course, excited attention, 
for never had any thing like it been seen or heard of 
in this region. The people came out in great num- 
bers to hear me, and I was desired to go to other 
places ; and soon, without my knowledge or aim, I had 
a large mission. I was called upon to preach every 
evening, and could not attend to all the appointments, 
nor could the crowds that came in from every side be 
accommodated in private houses. 

Of course the enemy was not pleased with this, nor 
content to look on in silence. The struggle soon 
came ; the rabble rose against me, and in many 
places urged on by freeholders and preachers, so 


that they not only disturbed our meetings, but beat 
me and thrust me violently out of their settlements 
or villages. The Lord so overruled it that the civil 
authorities in the beginning looked on in silence, and 
so we were allowed, in many places, for two years to 
carry on our meeting without especial persecution. 
But as the number of believers increased, and my 
brother and some others commenced calling sinners to 
repentance, the preachers became dreadfully alarmed. 
As the opposition on their part could not avail much 
against us, they applied to the government, with nu- 
merous petitions, to put a stop to this. At last the 
civil authorities yielded to their wishes, and issued a 
mandate that I was not to speak to the people in the 
name of Jesus. As I believed it was better to obey 
God than man so in many places I was fined; in 
many places I was taken before the magistrate and 
tried, and then directed to depart out of their coasts ; 
and in some places I was cast into prison. 

On one occasion, where I was unrighteously cast 
into prison, for one week, for I had held no meeting 
and violated no law, the following interesting conver- 
sation occurred among the prisoners. These prison- 
ers consisted of three infidels, that had been put in 
prison for circulating revolutionary books, and each 
of us had his own cell, yet we could speak to each 
other through the partitions. I was brought in about 
ten o'clock in the evening; and after every thing was 
made secure, one of them asked another, "Who in 
the world have they brought in now again?" My 
neighbor answered, "I believe it is the holy father 
from Rome!" "What!" responded the first one, 
" holy father here again ! Now do tell me what is yet 


to become of Germany? We were put in because we 
did not pray ; and if we get out and go to praying 
we will be put back here again, for the holy father is 
here because he prayed too much. It is better for us 
to go to America, for there we will not be imprisoned 
for praying." But these persecutions would not have 
stopped me had I been able to do any thing more ; but 
the every-where-present police watched me by day and 
by night, and completely hedged up my way. By the 
advice of my friends, and especially brother Jacoby, 
in the fall of 1853 I returned to America. Yet I 
thank God that he not only brought me safe back to 
America, and crowned my feeble efforts with his 
blessing, but that he has rendered his word a savor 
of life unto life in my old home. Many of my 
brethren and sisters came with and others after me 
to our free continent. 

Though my brother, who took my place in Ger- 
many, has had to labor under many embarrassments, 
yet the mission still exists and prospers, and I hope 
it will continue to exist in the heart of Germany, 
where it Avill be as leaven. When the Lord in his 
good time shall open the way and many more shall be 
brought under the influence of his Holy Spirit, I 
expect to find many a sheaf from this seed sown in 
tears, in heaven. Many have already been gathered, 
and among them is my dear mother, who was con- 
verted a year after my return to Germany, and died 
triumphantly three years later. My soul rejoices that 
I was made Avorthy to collect these fruits for the heav- 
enly garner, and I have often thought that if this 
were the only fruit of my labors I should be abund 
antly rewarded for all my suffering and toil. 



I was born in the protectorate of Saxony, Ger- 
many, in the year 1831. My parents were members 
of the Lutheran Church, and consequently I was 
brought up in their religious faith. They were anx- 
ious, as far as they knew how, to bring me up to the 
honor of God. They taught me to pray from a 
child, and sought to implant within me principles of 
morality; but with all this my heart w^as unchanged, 
and I was carried away with its unhallowed lusts. 
From outbreaking sins the Lord restrained me; but 
dancing, card-playing, and the pleasures of the beer- 
house were my favorite amusements. I often re- 
ceived admonitions from my father to leave off these 
things, but my youthful indifference gave them to 
the wind, especially as I saw that our preachers 
themselves took part in these things. 

I was in early youth deprived of my mother, and 
in my eighteenth year my father died also. I now 
stood almost alone ; and, as a heedless youth, was 
carried along by the stream of worldly pleasure. 
Often the preventing grace of God wrought mightily 
in my heart, especially when 1 thought on the ad- 
monitions of my father. At these times 1 often made 
good resolutions, and sometimes prayed in secret, and 
would gladly have become a new man ; but, alas ! I 
loved the ways of sin. I often promised to forsake 
my sins, and struggled mightily against them, but I 
could not gain the victory. The enemy of my soul 
came to me with the profane suggestion, "You can 
not help it, God has made you so." But at last God 
in his great mercy sent me help out of Zion. 


Brother E. Wunderlich came to Germany and 
preached Jesus the crucified. I had much to say 
against Methodism, on account of which at first I 
did not attend the meeting. The chief objection 
which I had was that the Methodists were too strict, 
and that no one could keep their rules. Curiosity, 
however, induced me to go and hear what the Meth- 
odist preacher had to say; and, as the sermon was 
mostly addressed to believers, my prejudices Avere 
rather increased. Yet God looked in mercy on me, 
a lost sheep from the fold ; for at the close of the 
meeting, while they sung, it pleased the Lord through 
two lines of the hymn to penetrate my heart with the 
arrow of conviction. These were the lines : 

"Despairing with the ungodly band. 
Midst flaming worlds shall sinners stand." 

The words followed me night and day, and I became 
alarmed about the condition of my poor soul. Now I 
began to attend Church regularly, not only the preach- 
ing, but also the prayer meeting. I was more and 
more convinced of my lost condition, and God granted 
to me according to his great mercy repentance unto 
life. Perhaps six weeks passed away before God 
manifested himself to my soul. It was on the 24th 
of June, 1852, when the blessed Savior showed me 
that his blood had power on earth to pardon sins. 
0, Avhat peace I found in my soul! I felt that old 
things had passed away and all things were becomo 

The joy which I had in the great Author of my 
salvation was inexpressibly great; and as the Meth- 
odist Church under God was the means of my con- 


version, I united with it. When I had taken this 
step I tried to follow the directions of the Savior. 
Persecution, mockings, and opposition met me from 
all sides, but God gave me grace to continue in my 
course. After I was received into full membership 
the Church gave me something to do, and I soon 
took part in Sunday schools, and the distribution of 
tracts, etc. This I did with joy. But here opposi- 
tion commenced on the part of the government. 
Complaint was laid against me, that in my visits to 
the sick I had prayed with them and directed their 
minds to the Savior, and for this I was brought be- 
fore the civil authorities to answer for my conduct. 
But the Lord gave me grace in these trying hours to 
cleave by faith unto him, and he never forsook me. 
In the course of time I was appointed class-leader, 
and afterward licensed to exhort. 

The ways of the Lord are wonderful, and so it 
was with me. In a remarkable manner did God open 
my way to come to America. A man who loved God 
and his cause had made a vow to pay the traveling ex- 
penses of a young man wishing to come to America 
to devote himself to the service of the Church. The 
matter was committed to brother Jacoby, the super- 
intendent of the German missions. The proposition 
was made to me, and I at once laid the matter be- 
fore the Lord in earnest prayer to know his will, and 
to follow this opening, if it were his will, as a call from 
God. In Bremen I was licensed as a local preacher. 
On the 19th of October, 1855, I went, in the name 
of the Lord, and accompanied by my brother, to the 
ship, and started for the New World. This was, as 
I confidently believe, a call from the Lord to labor in 


his vineyard. The opportunity to do something for 
his cause offered itself even on board the ship, where, 
during a sea-voyage of over six weeks, I had the 
opportunity to preach eight times to my fellow- 
passengers. Though I did it in great weakness it 
was evident that the word was accompanied by a 
divine power. After I had labored eleven weeks in 
America as a local preacher I was taken into the 
regular itinerant work. My faith has often been 
severely tried, but hitherto the Lord has sustained 
me. May he still give me more grace to lay myself 
upon his altar as a living sacrifice ! My desire is as 
strong as it ever was to serve God all the days of my 
life, and to follow the leadings of his providence. 





In the Haardt Mountains, not far from Mannheim, 
there is a small village called Neustadt, the place 
where I first saw the light of life. There I spent my 
youthful days, till I was fourteen years old, when, ac- 
cording to the wish of my mother, I went to Speier, 
to devote myself to the Roman Catholic priesthood. 

Scarcely had I entered a Dominican monastery 
when I felt a* strong inclination for missionary in- 
telligence. To preach the Gospel to the heathens 
gradually grew into a desire in my heart, especially 
when I recalled the scenes of my earlier years, when 
I, though a child, often with my brothers and sisters, 
in the woods, would mount some high moss-grown 
rock and hold meeting, and, after the mode and form 
of our reverend pastor, would speak of the child 

I selected Saint Francis Xavier and Saint Barbara 
for my patron saints, on account of their devotion to 
the cause of missions. The biography of the former 
was seldom out of my hands during my leisure hours, 
and from that of the latter I learned to pray to Jesus 
m secret. I availed myself of every thing that could 
contribute to the study of the ancient and modern 
languages, in order, as far as possible, to gain a 


knowledge of them. Before I entered the Gymna- 
sium there was but little attention paid to religion 
on the part of the teachers. In our devotional hours 
we were generally entertained with interesting re- 
ligious narratives, after we had mechanically rattled 
off our catechism. Fortunately, the fundamental 
principles of the Romish faith are put together so 
loosely that Jesus found great openings into which 
to lay his polished stones. 

The first Gymnasium year I can designate as the 
most remarkable. I began to think — to philosophize, 
if I may so speak. The Latin and Greek authors 
waked up my perceptions and the powers of my soul. 
The religious teacher, who instructed us in the doc- 
trine of the only true Church, was the prebendary 
Busch. But if, at the end of the year, I had been 
called on to say what are the truths of religion, I 
would have been compelled to answer, "Murder, 
death, and damnation to Dr. Martin Luther ! poison 
and gall for the Protestants," etc. ; together with 
some proofs from the Song of Solomon, in favor 
of the worship of the Virgin Mary, and some from 
reason for purgatory and indulgence. With these 
saving religious truths, in the fall vacation, I packed 
up my bundle and marched for home. The days of 
vacation I spent in Hardenburg, near Durkheim, and 
there, for the first time, " Schaidberger's Casket" 
came into my hands. Anxious for books as I ever 
had been, I opened this, and happened to strike on a 
passage where a Protestant preacher was most capi- 
tally telling his mind to a Catholic. He led him in 
succession to these questions : Who introduced mass, 
purgatory, auricular confession, indulgence, and all 


such ceremonies ? and then answered them from the 
history of the Church. " Is it possible !" exclaimed I. 
" Why, Christ taught and ordained all these things." 
I marked the principal points, with the Scripture pas- 
sages quoted against the worshiping of saints, mass 
for the dead, the pardon of sins, etc. The days of va- 
cation being over, I packed together all these truths 
of the Church of Christ, and again started for the 
cloister ; also I did not forget to take a Bible with me. 
When I came back the most of my fellow-students 
had already returned. The under-regent crossed him- 
self in a monstrous manner, just as I entered the 
door. I immediately made known my arrival to the 
regent, who received me very coldly, and in an un- 
friendly manner. On the following day I obtained 
an opportunity to read my Bible. The under-regent, 
who, with Jesuitical cunning, went up and down 
through the museum — for so the dormitories of the 
students were called — if possible to ascertain the very 
thoughts of the scholars, soon caught me at it : " How 
come you to be reading the Bible ?" asked he. " You 
do not understand what you are reading," " 0, yes," 
I replied, " I understand, it to a hair ! for Schaid- 
berger says that it is stated in the Bible, ' These 
things are hid from the wise and the prudent, and are 
revealed unto babes.' Further, that our Savior him- 
self says, ' Search the Scriptures, for ye think ye have 
eternal life in them, and it is they that testify of me ;' 
and, finally, Paul says to Timothy, ' All Scripture is 
inspired of God, and is profitable for doctrine,' etc. 
Look you, Mr. Under-regent, even these passages 
will I search after, to see whether they are really 
contained in this book." 


He stood still, as if he would work out in his head 
the square of the circle ; finally, he said, " Good; you 
may read a little in it, but you must by no means be- 
lieve that you can understand any part of it ; and at 
the first word which does not appear clear to you, 
come directly to me and ask for my counsel." I 
turned over a few pages further, and accidentally 
came to the third chapter of Paul to the Romans : 
" And we are justified by his grace, without works, 
through the redemption that is through Christ." 
This was now really a " hie haeret acpia" an insolu- 
ble riddle. Without works, grace, redemption, are 
justified, through Christ — five newly-discovered conti- 
nents, thought I to myself. 

Now it is, then, true that no one can understand 
the Bible, or it must be pure nonsense ; but that the 
apostle Paul had written nonsense I was not prepared 
to admit. 

During these reflections my Mr. Under-regent was 
again at my side. I disclosed to him my embarrass- 
ment, that here it is stated we are, by grace and 
without works ; he did not allow me to con- 
tinue : there lay my poor harmless Bible in a corner. 
" The devil has already begun to work in you ! Will 
you then perforce become a heretic ?" I believe if 
any one had then struck me he could not have fetched 
blood • I was so terrified. I had scarcely recovered 
myself when my under-regent and my Bible both dis- 
appeared. Now he should have recollected that when 
children are forbidden an edged tool, they are the 
more eager to obtain it. So it was with me ; I soon 
again had a Catholic New Testament in my hands, 
translated by Leander Van Ess. 


What vie-^s I now entertained of mj Bible no hu- 
man soul can have any conception. In my heart 
there was a desire to become holy, that I might 
finally be happy, and I was especially concerned to 
become an efficient and well-informed preacher, that I 
might be able to withstand all heretics. The first 
passage I opened to was Paul to the Romans, v, 5, 
" For the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by 
the Holy Ghost, which is given unto us." This pas- 
sage I immediately read over, till I had committed it 
to memory, and then put the Testament into my writ- 

I now sat down, and instead of studying I recited 
the two verses which I had learned directly from the 
Bible. The first point I could not get through with ; 
but the second was clear to my mind. 

The love of God, thought I, shall, and can be, shed 
abroad in our hearts, and that through the Holy 
Ghost which we have received. Very well : now, in 
confirmation, I received the grace of the Holy Spirit, 
and thereby also the love of God which is given with 
the Holy Spirit. 

Finally, God granted me so much grace that I saw 
that I had only received the grace of the Holy Spirit, 
and not the Spirit itself; consequently, also, there is 
no love of God in my heart. If my last piece of 
garment had been taken from me I could not have 
felt poorer than I now felt. I already believed my- 
self to be something, but by an examination of these 
two passages I felt that I was absolutely nothing, 
whether according to the Protestant or according to 
the Catholic Bible. When I went to bed I prayed 
for the love of God to be shed abroad in my heart. 


I thought it must be something very desirable to" have 
the love of God in the heart. That the regent pos- 
sessed this and that the under-regent, Laforette, knew 
nothing about it, was clear to my mind, or I would not 
be treated in such an unchristian, cold-blooded, and 
uncharitable manner. 

The poverty in my soul — let me say my spiritual 
poverty — constantly drove me to prayer, and the 
more I prayed the poorer and the more restless I 
became, so that I constantly had great heaviness of 
heart. This heaviness was soon observed by all my 
fellow-students. I went alone and prayed, or tried to 
pray, and I was now only called " the Hardenburg 
Philosopher." As it was clear to my mind that the 
priest had not the love of God, and could not possi- 
bly have the Holy Spirit, and also certainly could not 
pardon sins, all of which suspicions corresponded with 
my extracts from Schaidberger, I felt a great love 
for this book, and as often as I read it found that its 
author must have been well acquainted with the Bible. 
The crisis in the condition of my soul began to un- 
fold itself. Again I opened my Bible and read from 
St. John in Revelation xvii, 9: "And here is the 
mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven 
mountains on which the woman sitteth." In reading 
this chapter I was chilled at my heart, and I again 
had food for reflection, and laid the Testament by. I 
meditated again, "Seven mountains on which the 
woman sitteth, with whom the kings of the earth 
have committed fornication, and who is drunken with 
the blood of the saints." The under-regent just then 
passed me; so I looked into my "Julius Caesar," in 
which there is a minute description of the building of 


Rome on seven hills, and asked him if there was any 
■where in the world a city, with the exception of 
Rome, that was built on seven hills. " No !" replied 
he, " there is none, unless it is Pekin or Nankin, in 
China." I had sense enough to know that the evan- 
gelist John no more wrote about China than I was 
writing about the man in the moon. 

"Then," said I, "when St. John in the Revelation 
speaks of Babylon he means Rome." Scarcely had 
I the words out of my mouth when the under-regent 
took me by the ears and led me down stairs into the 
so-called "black-room." Slam, thundered the door 
to. " No breakfast for fourteen days," was all that I 
could understand. When I again came to my under- 
standing my first thought was, this trick " the love 
of God shed abroad in our heart through the Holy 
Ghost" has surely not played. In the mean time 
my writing-desk was searched and plundered, all my 
papers examined, and all my extracts from Schaid- 
berger and my Catholic Testament were found. The 
anticipation of what was now to befall me made my 
heart faint. " You will either be driven out of the 
institution as straight as a line, and then all your con- 
versions of the heathen will be at an end, as you will 
then not learn to preach, or a hard penance will be 
laid upon you." Such reflections crossed my mind. 
What was determined in my case by the high council 
of the prebendaries and regents was kept concealed 
from me. I was relieved from my confinement only 
during the class hours. I was anxious to know what 
might happen in the next religious meeting. With 
an air as if he were about to burn Huss, Pater Busch — 

who may now be a bishop somewhere in Germany — 



entered the class. We opened the Canisius, so was 
our Latin religious book called, and the Pater broke 
the silence: " G-ratia estis salvati per fidem, et Jioc 7ion 
ex nobis; dei enim donum est!" — "By grace ye are 
saved through faith, and that not of yourselves ; for 
it is the gift of God." So he has certainly studied 
your Schaidberger extracts to-day, thought I, and 
awaited in silence what kind of explanation would 
follow. Already in the introductory exercises of the 
class the lightning began to play over poor Dr. Lu- 
ther. "How dreadful is it," continued he, among 
other things, "as Dr. Luther says, 'only believe and 
thou shalt be saved!' Be a murderer, a thief, a liar, 
only believe, and all is done, and you are sure of sal- 
vation ; therefore, he also patched the word 'alone' 
in the Bible — through faith alone ye are saved. Now 
lay your hands in your lap, faith will take you to 
heaven as straight as a line," etc. My heart in a 
moment began to doubt whether Luther had taught 
such doctrine, for he has translated Romans iii, 24: 
" And we are without works justified by his grace, 
through the redemption that is through Christ." This 
way of justification even now began to be clear to my 
mind, notwithstanding I had not fully comprehended 
it; for I yet believed the priest could forgive sins, 
and the intercessions of the Virgin Mary must help 
us to heaven, and if no mass were read for me after 
my death I would in the end still have to wander in 
hell. Yet, as Pater Busch was determined to break 
the neck of the little word "alone," and sought out 
of this to prove Luther's translation of the Bible 
false, an inward voice did not allow me longer to hold 
my peace. " Am I allowed to ask a question, Mr. 


Prehendary?" asked I. "Let us hear," answered he, 
with a sullen air. "If I say Mr. Prebendary teaches 
us religion, or Mr. Prebendary teaches us alone relig- 
ion, what is the diiference?" "Out with you! out 
with you ! I will not suflfer such heretical poison in 
my class." I had by the time these words were 
uttered reached the door, and again thought of the. 
"love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy 

I again found myself in my prison. Yet my hours 
of suffering were to be shortened, for the Easter 
holidays were approaching, and they were then com- 
pelled to let me out so that I could go home. I was 
admonished, under the most fearful threatenings, to 
attend the Church regularly while at home. When 
on Easter-Sunday I went to the holy mass at Weiden- 
thal, to pastor Stoeckel, he delivered a sermon on 
the Scriptures appointed for the occasion, which in- 
terested me very little, for it seemed to me as if a 
drunken man were blabbering over some religious 
words. When he came to the place where he was 
to chant the Gospel, which, like every thing else, is 
chanted in Latin, I was especially attentive to his dis- 
course. ^'- Nabelacula fabelacula" it sounded, among 
other things, so that it appeared to me more like the 
Chinese than Latin. 0, thought I, if you do not 
know what you are chanting yourself, of what ad- 
vantage can it be to others ? and at the same moment 
I left the church. 

When I came home I met a Protestant student 
from Speier, by the name of Kraft, who was an 
upright, pious youth, and who appeared to me to have 
something of the love of God; for he was always 


very quiet, and talked in a mild, loving, modest, and 
feeling manner. "God bless you," exclaimed he. 
when he saw me, and his eyes beamed with joy: 
"I have heard of your afflictions in Speier, and all 
the faithful in the town are praying earnestly for 
you. They are prepared to give you lodging and 
boarding free, if it is your object to seek the truth. In 
the mean time you can pursue your studies in town." 

At these words it appeared as if a thousand bells 
were ringing in my ears, all proclaiming the love 
of God shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Ghost. 
" So I may even yet learn to preach !" 0, who could 
describe ray feelings then ! My next thought was, 
how can I be released from the cloister, and how 
obtain my books? 

When the classes commenced, I went without telling 
my parents any thing of it to Speier. I knew that 
they were soon to emigrate to America, so I easily 
made an excuse. At ten o'clock in the morning I 
entered the door of the monastery. The old porter 
smiled secretly when he saw me come. " Mr. Under- 
regent has been taken to task by the Bishop for his 
bad treatment to you," whispered he in my ears. 
"That matters nothing," said I; "all things shall 
work together for good to them that love God." I 
immediately hastened up to the regent and told him 
that my parents would no longer be able to pay 
any thing for me, as they were going to America, and 
that I must therefore leave the cloister and study in 
the town. Where shall I find language to express 
the looks and actions of the regent? A satanic rage 
was depicted upon his countenance, without breaking 
out in words. Regret at my bad treatment, and rage 


against my plans stirred the flame in his heart. "With 
fearful step he hastened into the side chamber, jerked 
three times with anger the innocent bell, so that it 
was heard through the whole building. With half- 
open eyes, and hand on his breast, the porter soon 
entered the door. "Of Moelling's affairs keep every 
thing still!" "Do you know," continued he to me, 
" that a report is spread through town that you are 
going to become a Protestant? Do your parents 
know any thing of it? Have you ever expressed 
yourself so ? Who put Schaidberger into your hands ? 
Who, the Protestant Bible? Who has looked out 
boarding-houses for you in town? Who has given 
you false views of the only true Church?" "Yes," 
replied I, "the Under-regent and Pater Busch have 
done this ! You say ' the only true Church,' and 
Pater Busch said lately Cfratia estis, 'by grace are ye 
saved through faith,' etc., and Mr. Under-regent says 
that ' Rome is the seven-hilled city on which the 
great whore sitteth.' " " Such nonsense, verily, no 
priest can teach," interrupted he ; " but I know what 
you have in your head." I took leave of him and 
hastened up into my dormitory. There I put on all 
my pantaloons, and what else I could pack on to 
myself, and the large priest's coat over the whole, 
with the most necessary books under my arm, and 
quickly slipped out of the cloister. 

My friend Kraft was already standing without, and 
he took me to the nearest Protestant house, where I 
was cordially received and welcomed. They were 
rejoiced to see a young man who was anxious to 
escape from darkness and to seek the truth and the 
light of the Gospel. 


The consistorial counselor Rust preached on the 
next Sabbath from Paul to the Romans, iv, 25 : " Who 
was delivered for our offenses, and Avas raised again 
for our justification." Here I for the first time saw 
clearly what sin and righteousness were. I examined 
myself closely, and found my own experience to cor- 
respond with what the preacher had said. 

I began earnestly to seek, read much in the holy 
Scriptures, and often, like other believers, tried to 
pray from the heart, but did not succeed ; and when 
I kneeled down it often appeared to me that some one 
stood behind to disturb me, and I on one occasion 
arose from my knees in great fear. 

Under such circumstances the summer season passed 
away. After some months I received a letter from 
my parents in America, through which I was induced 
to go there also. 

Yet ever the words of that sermon resounded in 
my heart. With fearfulness I stepped on board the 
ship that was to bring me over the great ocean, no 
more to see my old father-land; but I thought that in 
America, where no one knew that I was a Catholic, I 
would become closely united to the pious. 

We entered the sea at Rotterdam. Many a time 
in the night I stood by the mast with a heavy heart, 
and sighed to my Savior for peace and the pardon of 
my sins, for the love of God and the witness of the 
Holy Spirit. But solitary and lonely as the nightly 
waves of the rolling deep was my heart. 

One evening, as the sun went down so grandly that 
it would have been beyond the power of any artist to 
represent the beautiful grouping of clouds, my eyo 
rested on the evening sky; "so Christ Avill come to 


judge tlie earth in righteousness" resounded deep in 
my heart. Without obtaining any further knowledge 
I landed in the New World. My sins made me more 
restless every day; sufferings and disappointments 
crossed my path and humbled me to the dust. I felt 
that my sins and erring ways had brought these suf- 
ferings upon me. I sought to pray more earnestly for 
knowledge and deliverance. I was often very sorry 
for all my sins, so that I wept in solitary places. 
One evening when I felt very sad, and was about to 
leave my work-shop, I looked again into the Bible 
and read, " Call upon me in trouble and I will deliver 
thee, and thou shal^. praise me." Psa. 1, 15. I felt 
something in my heart in the reading of these words 
that I had not felt before. There were some fore- 
bodings of freedom, the dawnings of grace in my 
soul. I kneeled down and prayed, which I could now 
do with more confidence than before. Never had I 
seen my lost condition so clearly as I did now. I 
could clearly see how far I had gone from the Savior. 
What a happy feeling it must be, thought I, to have 
our sins destroyed and to have the peace and love of 
God in the heart ! I visited all the churches I knew 
of in order to find this treasure. In the anguish of 
my soul I once went to hear a missionary preach, but 
his discourse appeared to me like the prattling of a 
parrot. He had connected some passages from the 
Bible with some philosophical parentheses mixed in, 
and he neither knew nor felt any thing of that which 
I so much desired. 

One evening I said to my mother, " If I only knew a 
Church in the world where I could find peace I would 
gladly go to it." "Go once," said she, "over there 


to our neighbor's house; there they pray and sing 
half the night, and are often so full of joy and love 
to God as to shout aloud." I felt like pushing the 
sun down in order to hasten the approach of evening ; 
scarcely was it dark when I stood at the door of the 
house. The door was kindly opened to me, and 
brother Meekens came immediately and gave me his 
hand, and asked me whether I too felt that I was a 
poor sinner? "0, yes," said I, "this I have felt for 
a long time ; but I desire to obtain the pardon of my 
sins, peace, and the love of God.'' "Jesus will give 
you all this, if you are in earnest. We only can pray 
with and for you." With these words we went into a 
small retired house, standing back, where they could 
worship without being disturbed. Soon we had a 
tolerably large assembly. Brother Meekens preached 
from the third chapter of John, on the subject of the 
new birth, and how the sinner must prepare himself 
for it. 

As a Catholic I had been under the delusion that 
baptism was the new birth, and I thought very strange 
of the words, " Ye must be born again, or ye can not 
enter into the kingdom of heaven." Tears rolled 
from the preacher's eyes, and I felt his words like a 
cutting sword piercing deep into my heart. Their 
hymns made such a powerful impression upon my soul 
that I could not refrain from tears. When the brother 
had closed the exhorter called for penitents to come 
to the altar of prayer; I immediately fell upon my 
knees, and then he prayed with such power and unc- 
tion that even a Catholic bishop might have become 
afraid of hell. I melted into tears, and began to 
wrestle earnestly, and to pray. "Lord, I will not let 


thee go except thou bless me : Jesus take my heart 
and give me thine," was my cry. Our meeting con- 
tinued with singing and praying, without intermission 
and without my once rising from my knees, till three 
o'clock in the morning. This was in the spring of 
1847. One more prayer was offered, and this by a 
child of eight years, who prayed especially for me, as 
I could not yet believe. "Lord," said the child, "do 
pluck this brand from the burning ! shall he burn for- 
ever?" At these words I could take fast hold on the 
Savior ; and who could take him from me again ? I 
could now really believe and know what it was to be- 
lieve. My sins fell from me as one casts away a filthy 
garment. I felt that all my sins were destroyed 
through the blood of Christ. I had the peace of 
God and the love of God shed abroad in my heart 
through the Holy Ghost. No brother was so lowly 
that I could not embrace him in my arms, with songs 
of praise and rejoicing for all his goodness to the 
children of men. I now again thought on the promise 
of the Lord, " I will deliver thee and thou shalt praise 
me." All my penitential tears, all wrestling and 
struggling, all anguish and bitter hours departed from 
me ; old things had passed away and all things were 
become new. "When the Lord turned again the cap- 
tivity of Zion we were like them that dreamed." 
Eight days after this I joined the German Methodist 
Church, under brother Tostrick, in the city of New 
Orleans, when the church in the Third Municipality 
was dedicated. 

God be thanked that Schaidberger published his 
experience ; which, perhaps, he did with prayers and 

tears that many souls might be awakened through it : 



with the same view I have written this ; and may God, 
in mercy, grant that all those who read these lines 
may not depart from the feet of Jesus till they hear 
the blessed word from his mouth, "My son, my 
daughter, thy sins are forgiven thee !" 





I WAS born in the duchy of Nassau, September 17, 
1807, and was brought up in the Lutheran Church, 
which in that country is much influenced by rational- 
ism. Notwithstanding my religious instruction, and 
confirmation, and taking the sacrament of the Lord's 
supper, I became an infidel. When I left my parental 
home I lived as the youth in G|fmany are accustomed 
to live; I often had reproaches of conscience, and 
formed purposes to mend my life, and thought if there 
was a heaven, such as the Bible describes, it is im- 
possible for all those who call themselves Christians 
to reach it. 

In traveling through Germany I met with a num- 
ber of infidel philosophers and rationalists, who re- 
garded the Bible as a book to keep the ignorant in 
subjection, but was not intended for the cultivated 
and learned. This was a new support to my infi- 
delity ; yet, when I meditated in my lonely retirement, 
my conscience often waked up, and the word sounded 
in my ears, "Whosoever believeth not shall be 
damned." I finally found a true Christian, and 
made known- to him my condition. He gave me 
good advice, told me to leave ofi" sinning, and 


advised me to pray. I then used all my efforts to 
make myself better, and succeeded in laying off some 
outbreaking sins, but the restlessness and disquietude 
of my heart continued as before. 

A year afterward I met the same man, and told him 
that with all my efforts to make myself better I was 
as bad as ever. He told me that I had not prayed 
aright; that I must pray with faith. We parted in 
tears. I had to pass through a wood, and in trying 
to follow the good man's instruction I kneeled down 
and prayed. How long I remained in this place I do 
not know, but when I came to myself my heart was 
filled with joy and gladness. My burden was gone, 
and I went on my way home rejoicing. 

In my neighborhood I had no one to Avhom I could 
open my heart, and through the temptation of the 
enemy and the want of proper encouragement, I soon 
lost my peace, and unbelief gained the ascendency. 
I thought if I were in America and away from old 
associations, in some lonely place, I could serve God 
better ; but I had not the means to pay the expenses 
of the journey. Without my asking for it a friend 
offered to pay my passage-money if I would go, and 
I gladly availed myself of his kindness. I left my 
father-land, and after a three months' journey I ar- 
rived in Jackson county, Indiana, in the year 1834. 
Now the impression came, " Offer unto God thanks- 
giving, and pay thy vows to the Most High." But, 
alas ! instead of fulfilling my promises I became im- 
mersed in the cares of the world, and sought for 
pleasure in the fleeting objects of time; but I had no 
peace in my soul. 

One Sunday I visited an old citizen who had filled 


my mind with prejudice against the Methodists. He 
was very sick, and was near death. I saw that he 
was very restless and unsatisfied. As he had been an 
old Revolutionary soldier, I told him that ho had faced 
the enemies of liberty in the Revolutionary war, and 
I hoped he would have the courage now to face death 
without fear. He answered, "No, I am going to the 
second death; I already feel the flames of hell kin- 
dled in my breast. I knew my duty but I did it not," 
He sent for a local preacher to pray for him, and soon 
departed. From this time my conscience was waked 
up again. The solemn warning of the old soldier 
often resounded in my ears. 

There were occasionally German preachers, though 
not Methodists, passing through our country, but they 
talked more about making collections than about re- 
ligion; so I lost ray confidence in them, and attended 
service in the English Methodist church. So far as 
I understood the sermons they greatly pleased me, 
but I never became deeply awakened. In the year 
1839 there was a great revival of religion in the 
neighborhood where I lived, and in this revival it 
pleased God to awaken and convert my wife, and she 
joined the Methodist Church. This I did not like, 
yet I thought I had no right to control her conscience. 
She often went weeping to prayer and class meeting 
and wept as she returned. At last it pleased God, 
on a beautiful May morning, in the year 1839, to bless 
the preaching of the word to my good. I was com- 
pelled to acknowledge that the law of God was 
righteous, just, and good, though it condemned my 
soul. The preacher. Rev. Calvin Ruter, presiding 
elder of the district, showed how the sinner could be 


delivered from the sentence of the Law; but all the 
promises of the Gospel fled past me like flashes of 
lightning, and I could find no ray of God's pardoning 
mercy in my poor heart. I could neither eat, nor 
drink, nor sleep. While the Bible informed me that 
Jesus could help me, the enemy of my soul told me 
that as I had grieved the Savior so long by disobe- 
dience, he would not receive me till I was a better 
man ; that I had tried to become better and had not 
succeeded. In the afternoon I went to meeting again, 
but instead of finding comfort my condition appeared 
worse. I returned home with a heavy-laden heart ; 
my wife encouraged me to go with her to Church in 
the evenino;. This I refused to do, for I thought the 
Methodists had been the cause of all my trouble. I 
however accompanied her to the church door, and re- 
mained outside, among the scofi"ers, till I became so 
tormented that I could not stay, and so I returned 
home. Even here I found no peace, and went back 
to the church. An invitation was given to penitents 
to kneel at the altar of prayer, but fear and shame 
kept me back. Several were powerfully converted, 
and I again formed the resolution to seek till I found 
mercy at the hand of God. 

I went home, and in the most intense agony I pray- 
ed through the whole night till the dawn of the 
next day. I now felt an entire resignation to the 
Divine will, and waited with anxiety for the hour of 
public worship to arrive. In the morning a Roman 
Catholic man came to get me to do some work for 
him. I told him that I intended to go to Church. 
"Are you going to become a Methodist?" said he. 
I replied: "I don't know; but one thing I do know, 


and that is, that we must be converted if we ever 
expect to reach heaven." I told him that we had 
sinned long enough against God, and I felt that I must 
be converted if I would be happy. I at length per- 
suaded him to go with me to the meeting. He became 
awakened through the influence of the Holy Spirit, 
was converted, and united with the Church. He has 
since died happy, and his son is now a pious member 
and steward in our Church. 

When we came to the church a hymn was sung, 
every line of which appeared to apply to my case. 
When the text was read, " quench not the Spirit," a 
new world of sins arose before me, and I felt that 
I had too often grieved and quenched the Holy Spirit. 
What brother Ruter said in his sermon I know not ; 
but when it was finished I could praise my Savior 
with a joyful heart. Old things had passed away 
and all things had become new. What tongue can 
express the joy of a new-born soul, or what pen 
describe the bliss of those who are delivered from the 
bondage of sins ? I now loved God and the children 
of God, and united with the Methodist Episcopal 
Church. I loved prayer and class meetings, and was 
well satisfied with the choice I had made with regard 
to Church fellowship. 

But soon a new conflict commenced in my soul. I 
had many of my countrymen around me, and I felt a 
great desire for their salvation. My English brethren 
soon saw my anxiety and concern for them, and gave 
me license to exhort. With fear and trembling 1 
commenced this work ; and after laboring two years 
as an exhorter and class-leader I was recommended 
to the quarterly conference, who granted me license 


as a local preacher. The love of Christ constrained 
me to labor for the good of my countrymen, and I 
accepted the license. 

Though I did not think I could take up the cross 
and become a traveling preacher, as I did not feel 
competent for this work, the conviction was constantly 
deepened in my heart that it was my duty to devote 
myself wholly to God. After some severe conflicts 
and trials, I sold my effects, and in the year 1846 
I was received on probation in the Ohio conference. 

The Lord has blessed my labors, and many have 
been converted to him. As long as the Lord gives 
me health and the Church needs my services, I intend 
to devote myself to this cause. 


I was born on the 18th of October, in the year 
1820, in Westphalia, kingdom of Prussia, Germany. 
In the year 1833 our family migrated to America, 
and about midsummer my parents with five children 
landed in New Orleans. This was the year when the 
cholera raged with such violence, and scores fell 
victims to it every day. A gracious Providence pre- 
served our lives, and we took steamboat for St. Louis, 
which we reached in nine days. We did not remain 
long in the city, but moved to the country, and settled 
seventy-five miles west of St. Louis, in St. Charles 
county, Missouri. Here we were in an entire wil- 
derness, on which account no one grieved more than 
ray mother, as she had been converted in Germany, 
and was now deprived of Church privileges and Chris- 
tian associations. 

Here we lived five years without a church or 


preacher. "Alas, children," said mother frequently, 
"we will all be heathens yet." We children found 
a manner of life according to our wishes. Hunting, 
fishing, and roaming through the forests, was our 
employment whenever we found a leisure hour from 
other labors; but wdth all this our heavenly Father 
watched over us. We had a pious mother. The Sab- 
bath day was not forgotten; for every Sunday we 
had to read our Bibles, and she made explanations to 
us of difficult passages. 

I was sorry that we were deprived of schooling, 
but finally the time came when we were supplied with 
a preacher. He came from Germany as a missionary 
to North America. This man was an evangelical Lu- 
theran, and in accordance with the wishes of my 
parents, I went to him for instruction in the doctrines 
of the Church, and was confirmed. During the time 
I was receiving instruction I was awakened, and a 
few weeks afterward was converted, and felt myself 
one of the happiest beings on earth. But being left 
to myself, and not properly understanding the nature 
of the blessing that I had experienced, nor knowing 
how to retain it, I fell into a state of indifi'erence and 
hardness of heart, which continued for five years. 
Yet God restrained me from outbreaking sins; and 
as I had, in my confirmation, renewed my baptismal 
vows and was now recognized as a communicant, I 
was appointed to an office in the Church ; and thus 
I lived and labored within her pale, a backslider and 
a benighted sinner, till I was finally waked up through 
the preaching of brother Swahlen, who was the first 
German Methodist preacher we had ever seen. He 
made application to preach in our church, and re- 


ceived permission to do so; but when we found that 
he was a Methodist the door of the church was closed 
against him by my colleagues, the trustees. But as 
he had made an appointment and could not get into 
the church, he took his stand by an old tree in front 
of it, and preached to the people. His word was not 
lost upon us : he visited us in our houses, and had he 
not been a Methodist he would have been received 
as an angel of God. 

I left this neighborhood and went to St. Louis, 
where I fell into bad company, and made rapid pro- 
gress in a course of sin. Yet I still went to Church, 
sometimes to one and then another, till finally I was 
told that my sister, who also was now living in the 
city, had joined the Methodists. Through her I 
became acquainted with brother L. S. Jacoby, and 
brother Casper Jost, under whose preaching I was 
again awakened and converted. 

It was a hard matter to get my consent to be a 
Methodist, and still harder for me to go to the altar 
of prayer. I was afraid that if I were converted 
among the Methodists at the altar of prayer I should 
have to shout; however, when the Lord granted me 
peace I forgot all this, and my Savior was my all, 
and in all. 

In my early youth I frequently had strong desires 
to do something for the cause of God; especially 
at times when my mother talked to me about Jesus 
and heaven. But this missionary spirit died in me 
when I came to America. However, at my confirma- 
tion, this feeling — a desire to do something for the 
cause of God — was waked up anew in my heart, but 
I could see no way open for me to do any thing. 


When I was converted in St. Louis, the impression 
again was strong on my mind that I ought to preach ; 
and as I thought over this matter I became very 
much alarmed, for I now saw the responsibilities rest- 
ing upon a minister of the Gospel, and the infinite 
value of an immortal soul. Although the impression 
was strong on my mind, I felt disposed to shrink from 
the task. After hesitating some time, and seriously 
reflecting on this subject, when the providence of 
God opened the way for me, I started in this great 

In the fall of 1847 I was received into the Illinois 
conference, and from that day to this I have endeav- 
ored to publish the word of the Lord. I thank God 
that I ever found the Methodist Church, and that she 
received me. In this Church I hope to remain till 
the Lord shall call me home. 


I was born near the city of Odessa, southern Rus- 
sia, in the year 1831. Both my parents were Ger- 
mans, and members of the Evangelical Lutheran 
Church. They took great pains to make me early 
acquainted with the saving truths of religion ; but 
shortly after I had entered the lyceum at Odessa, the 
desire arose in me to unite with the Greek Catholic 
Church. Several reasons influenced me in this ; first, 
because it was the religion of the institution; and, sec- 
ondly, because its ceremonial pomp was more captivat- 
ing to my young mind than the simplicity of the Protest- 
ant worship. Without the knowledge of my parents, and 
in their absence, I observed and practiced all the cere- 
monies peculiar to the Greek Church, till I had reached 


that age "when, in accordance witli the usages of the 
Evangelical Church, I became a candidate for confirm- 

I received the preparatory instruction from a min- 
ister of the Reformed Church. But my heart re- 
mained as cold as ever. I could not conceal this state 
of things from my parents, for they were deeply con- 
cerned about the salvation of my soul. My father 
asked me, therefore, whether I had experienced a 
change of heart ; and when I had to answer, " No," 
my confirmation was postponed for one year. 

An Evangelical Lutheran minister gave me confirm- 
atory instruction the following year — 1846. At its 
conclusion I deeply felt the necessity of a change of 
heart, and I verily believe that the Lord commenced 
the work of grace in my soul on the 31st of March, 
1846, the day of my confirmation. Full of good 
resolutions I looked forward to the future, and hoped 
to be able henceforth to lead a new life. But, alas ! 
soon all these good impressions disappeared, and I, 
as well as my parents, could see that old things had 
not yet passed away. 

In the year 1849 I left the parental roof, in order 
to go to America, partly from a desire to see the new 
world, and partly in order to escape military service 
in the native country of my father, the Palatinate of 
the Rhine. I departed with the blessing of my father, 
and joined a company of pious Germans, who just at 
that time were preparing to emigrate to the United 
States. We arrived in New York the 22d of October, 
1849, after a voyage of one hundred days. The first 
five months of my sojourn in America I spent at the 
house of Mr. Schauffler, in Boston. The prayers and 


exhortations of this dearly-beloved man disturbed my 
mind to such a degree that I passed many a night in 
ardent prayer to the Lord. But instead of telling 
him of the anguish of soul which I suffered, I left his 
house and returned to New York. Upon my arrival 
in that city I attended, several times, religious serv- 
ices at the church of Rev. Mr. Guiding, and also at 
the Episcopal church in Houston-street. 

At last, one of the companions of my voyage across 
the sea, who had remained in New York, invited me 
to attend divine service at the church of his choice. 
This was the Methodist church in Second-street, to 
which afterward I, as well as many others, became ar- 
dently attached. 

Our dear father Tiemann was the first, and brother 
Hertel the second, Methodist preacher that I ever 
heard. The preaching of both made such an impres- 
sion upon me that I resolved never again to go to that 
church ; for it seemed as if such preaching stripped 
me of all the moral goodness which I imagined 
myself to possess. But in consequence of an affec- 
tionate invitation on the part of two brethren, who 
still are members of our Church, I consented to at- 
tend once more. Brother Doering preached. At 
the conclusion of this sermon I felt that there was 
no soundness in me, but that from head to foot there 
was nothing but sin, nothing but what deserved con- 

When the invitation was given for seekers of re- 
ligion to come forward to the altar, it seemed to me 
as if the whole congregation were rising and going 
forward. This impression was further strengthened 
by the earnest and importunate prayers which the 


brethren offered up ; and my astonishment was great 
indeed when, at the conclusion of the services, I saw 
myself the only mourner at the altar. 

I left the church still unforgiven, but with the firm 
determination to continue seeking religion at home. 
I did so for two weeks. 

On the 17th of April, in the afternoon, I locked 
myself up in a room at the house of my traveling 
companion, and resolved to persevere in prayer till 
I knew that the Lord had forgiven my sins. I 
wrestled in prayer three times, when suddenly a voice 
seemed to whisper in my ear, " Give it up ; the Lord 
will certainly not hear thee I" About to leave the 
room in despair, that blessed promise of God came 
to my mind, " Ask, and ye shall receive," etc. For 
the fourth time I engaged in agonizing prayer, pre- 
senting this his own promise to the Lord, and soon 
received the witness of my acceptance. Rejoicing, I 
communicated to brother Peering what the Lord had 
done for me, and was received by him on probation. 
In the course of the following year brother Hoerner, 
of Newark, New Jersey, gave me license to exhort. 
He has since entered into his eternal rest. On the 
23d of October, 1852, the quarterly conference of the 
Second-street congregation granted me license to 
preach, and in May, 1853, I was received on proba- 
tion by the New York conference. Since that time I 
have endeavored to labor in the Lord's vineyard, and 
am resolved, by the help of God, to continue in his 
service till my labors upon earth shall be finished. 

Note. — Brother Flocken was recently appointed to the mission in 
Bulgaria, Turkey. It is intended that he shall make his native city, 
Odessa, the center of his missionary operations. He left New York 


on the ISth of December, 1858, for Bremen, Germany, where he will 
probablj' remain during the winter, and labor under the direction of 
brother Jacoby, superintendent of the foreign German mission. His 
family will share with him in the hardships and deprivations of his 
missionary toils ; and the pious should especially pray that the Great 
Head of the Church may bless their efforts in sowing the seeds of 
divine truth in that distant laud. 





I WAS born in Basle, Switzerland, April 15, 1821. 
I enjoyed the benefit of a religious education, my 
parents being members of the society of the Moravian 
Brethren in that city. Among them I grew up and 
united with them at the age of fourteen. My mother 
taught me to pray when quite young, and my father 
gathered the whole family regularly around the family 
altar. My youthful associates often pointed the finger 
of scorn at me for attending the meetings rather than 
the pleasure-parties. But such was the grace of God 
in my heart that I patiently bore all the ridicule that 
could possibly be heaped upon me, and found more 
delight in the service of God than even in the inno- 
cent recreations and pleasures of youth. Surrounded 
by such a religious atmosphere, by the grace of God 
I was led into the path of life, and taught to love my 
Savior almost without being aware of it. On the 20th 
of April, 1836, I renewed my baptismal covenant 
amid many tears. It was a happy time indeed. I 
could feel and enjoy the love of God in my heart; 
and it was my earnest desire to be a humble fol- 
lower of the meek and lowly Jesus. 

But, alas ! by the subtilty of the archenemy I fell 

R. SHOBE. 377 

into his snares. I went to live among strangers, and 
became neglectful in the discharge of my religious 
duties. I wandered from God and indulged in the 
pleasures of this world, till I was graciously overtaken 
by sickness, when I again heard the voice of the 
Spirit of God, warning me of my sinful career, and 
pointing me again to " the Lamb of God, which taketh 
away the sin of the world." Conscious of having 
gone astray from the fold of Christ, and feeling the 
burden of my sins, I resolved to return to my Savior, 
whom I had forsaken. As soon as my health re- 
turned, and I was able to leave the room, I packed up 
my things and left that place. When I had traveled 
a mile or two and arrived at a solitary place, I sat 
down under a tree by the road-side, took out my 
long-neglected pocket Bible, and began to read those 
gracious invitations and promises of a loving Savior 
that are so full of comfort to a penitent sinner. 
Soon my soul was drawn away to my Savior, and 
falling down on my knees, with streaming eyes, 1 
implored the mercy of God for the sake of Him 
who died on the cross. And, glory to God ! while 
lying there prostrate and unseen by any human eye, 
God spoke peace to my soul. My sorrow was turned 
into joy, and I sprang to my feet a new creature, and 
happy in God and in my Redeemer. This occurred 
in the early part of the spring, 1843. 

In the spring of 1844 I emigrated to the United 
States. My parents followed me in the fall of the 
same year, and settled near Hermann, Missouri. 
There I for the first time heard a Methodist sermon 
preached by Rev. William Schreck. But as he did 
not preach very often, and on account of my natural 


timidity, I did not become acquainted with him or with 
the members of the Church, and so for some time longer 
remained a stranger to the doctrines of Methodism. 

In July, 1845, 1 went to St. Louis, and united there 
with the Evangelical Church. The following year I 
took up my residence at Highland, Madison county, 
Illinois. As there was no regular Protestant preach- 
ino-, except occasionally by the Methodists, I had 
no other resort than to attend their meetings. The 
first sermon I heard there was by the late Rev. Mr. 
Ileminghaus. I was so well pleased with his ser- 
mon, and convinced of the pure Bible truths set forth 
therein, that I gladly and unhesitatingly made use of 
the opportunity, and united with the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church on the same day. All my prejudices 
were cleanly swept away, and I embraced her doc- 
trines and discipline with my whole heart. As soon 
as I was received into full membership the quarterly 
conference gave me license to exhort, in which capac- 
ity I tried to serve the Church and to advance the 
cause of Christ according to the gifts of God be- 
stowed upon me. 

In the fall of 1849 I was licensed to preach. I 
felt entirely unworthy of such a responsible post, 
and in my estimation not qualified for the proper dis- 
charge of the duties connected therewith; yet I durst 
not refuse it, for I was fully convinced that it was the 
will of God, and consequently my duty to accept it. 
When I joined the Church I laid myself entirely on 
the altar, resolving to serve God and to exercise my 
gifts to the best of my ability ; consequently, after I 
had laid my hands to the plow, I did not dare to re- 
tract my steps. It was my greatest delight to spend 

R. snoBE. 379 

my spare time in prayer and study, and to proclaim 
the glad tidings of salvation to my fellow-men. 

In the spring of 1850 Rev. Philip Kuhl, presiding 
elder on St. Louis district, to which Highland mission,,,*: 
at that time belonged, asked me to enter the regular , * 
work. This question came somewhat unexpectedly; . 
but still I felt it to be my duty. But there Avere 
many difficulties in my way that seemed to be of 
sufficient weight for me to withhold my consent. A 
few months afterward I was again requested to join 
the traveling ministry. I was strongly convinced of 
my duty to obey the call, and was not unwilling to 
do so, but my family circumstances were such that 
they would not allow me to enter the itinerancy. 

Several years passed, during which I tried to be 
useful in the capacity of local preacher. But not- 
withstanding the seemingly well-grounded causes that 
obstructed my way against entering the regular work, 
I felt very unhappy and cast down in my mind, for 
I was so strongly impressed with the duty God and 
the Church required me to perform, that, as a con- 
sequence of my disobedience, peace and happiness 
departed from me, and I felt most miserable. I 
prayed earnestly to God, that if it was his will that 
I should give up myself entirely to his work, to re- 
move the obstacles and to open the way for me ; and 
the Lord did so. All the difficulties were removed 
and the way opened, so that in 1855 I Avas received 
as a probationer in the Illinois conference, and ap- 
pointed to Decatur mission. Peace and happiness 
were restored, for I knew and felt that I was doing 
the work that I should have been engaged in several 
years before. In 1856 I was transferred to the Gin- 


cinnati conference, where I have been endeavoring 
ever since to advance the cause of Christ according 
to the ability God has given me. 


I was born on the 20th day of June, 1829, at Rad- 
bergen, in the kingdom of Hanover. My father was 
a school-teacher, and he destined me to the same 
profession. It w^as now my desire to become pious 
in order to be useful. I was instructed and brought 
up in the doctrines of the Lutheran Church; but as 
its religion had degenerated into mere formalities, 
and as there was not one individual that could testify 
of a heart-felt piety, I did not learn the way of sal- 

Early in my youth the question often arose in my 
mind, What must I do to be saved? and the answer 
was, Cease to do evil, and be good, and thou shalt be 
saved in the world to come. I often tried to become 
pious in this way, but of course found no peace or a 
change of heart. In such a condition I lived eighteen 
years in Germany, and then emigrated to the United 
States of America, as I firmly believe, providentially. 
I settled in Mason county, Illinois, where two of my 
brothers were living. I soon heard of the different 
sects of religion, of which I had not heard any thing 
in Germany, and especially of the Methodist Church, 
against Avhich I was very much prejudiced, because I 
was told that many of my countrymen had fallen 
from the faith and become Methodists. I did not then 
know the doctrines and principles of the Church, and 
on account of my prejudices I had no desire of be- 
coming acquainted with them. 



One day I had a conversation with an unconverted 
man, who told me that he knew the Methodists very 
well ; that they preach that man must be born again ; 
that they pretend to know when their sins are par- 
doned, and that they will go to heaven. After this 
conversation the words "regeneration" and "justifica- 
tion" were so deeply impressed on my mind that I 
never could forget them. Ever and anon I heard a 
voice saying, If thou wouldst die happy thou must be 
born again ; thy sins must be pardoned. 

Soon after this, in the year 1848, I went to Mere- 
dosia, Illinois, where one of my brothers was living. 
Immediately after my arrival I was laid on a sick-bed 
with the congestive fever. When I came near death 
I feared greatly to be cast into hell with all those that 
forget God, and prayed to God to spare my life once 
more, and made a vow to forsake sin and to live for 
him. When my health was restored I tried with all 
my strength to do better; but, of course, could not 
succeed, for I did not know the way of salvation, and 
consequently my strength failed. 

Some time after this I moved to Beardstown, Illi- 
nois, and visited all the Protestant churches, English 
as well as German. In the German Methodist 
church, which I usually visited on Sunday evenings, 
my sinful condition was more clearly revealed to me 
than ever before, as also the necessity of a change of 
heart. But I fell now into another mistake. I con- 
sidered myself too unworthy to obtain mercy, and 
tried to make myself better first by reading the Bible 
and doing Avorks of repentance. I went for the first 
time to the late Rev. Fr. Kerkmann, and told him my 
determination to repent for half a year longer, and 


that I would then, no doubt, receive remission of my 
sins. He pointed me at once to Christ as a present 
Savior, Avho was willing and ready to pardon my sins 

The next evening I went to a prayer meeting. My 
sins lay like a heavy burden upon me. I fell on my 
knees and prayed from the depths of my heart. It 
was a hard struggle with the power of darkness. 
But as soon as I laid myself on the altar, my faith 
was strengthened so that I could believe on the Lord 
Jesus Christ as my Savior. The Lamb of God took 
away my sins — the love of God was shed abroad in 
my heart by the Holy Ghost, so that I could say 
Abba, Father. About a week later, in October, 1849, 
I united with the Methodist Episcopal Church. 

When the Lord pardoned my sins I had a strong 
sympathy for all men, and felt as if I should tell them 
what the Lord had done for my soul. About nine 
months after my conversion I went to Quincy, Illi- 
nois. Here I became first school-teacher and after- 
ward colporteur, when I received license to exhort 
and soon afterward license to preach. This was a 
time of great trial, for I felt my incapacity and un- 
worthiness, but I prayed day and night that the will 
of the Lord only might be done. I gave myself, at 
last, to God and the Church, praying earnestly that 
if it were not the will of the Lord that I should 
preach for him, to prevent me from taking this re- 
sponsible office. At the same time I was willing to 
obey the call of the Church and listen to the voice of 
the Almighty. 

It was in the fall of 1850 when I entered the itin- 
erancy; and, I tliauk God, within these eight years T 


have been permitted to "win many souls to Christ. I am 
fully determined to devote my whole life to this work, 
and pray that I may be instrumental in saving yet 
many souls. 


In the year 1830 I first saw the light of this life 
in the kingdom of Prussia. The days of my child- 
hood were spent at home in the bosom of our family. 
To go to school and study diligently was my greatest 
delight, and I know not that I ever willingly neglected 
Church or school. I lived retired, and never could find 
much pleasure in the plays of my schoolmates. Yet, 
as my parents did not take much pains to restrain me, 
I became a self-willed and disobedient boy. In my 
fourteenth year, according to the custom of the Lu- 
theran Church, to which we belonged, I was con- 
firmed, and in the most solemn manner renewed my 
baptismal vow ; but how soon was all this forgotten 
and efiticed from my mind! From this time I lived 
a quiet life, and did not go with my fellow-youth to 
the dances and plays and various amusements. My 
place was always filled at the church on Sabbath morn- 
ing, and my Sabbath afternoons were spent in read- 
ing in the family Bible. Yet, with all this, the Bible 
was to me a sealed book, which I only read because I 
liked the beautiful narratives it contains. It could 
scarcely be otherwise, as I had never heard of the re- 
newal and change of the heart in a sinner, and relig- 
ion was only exhibited to me in Church ceremonies. 
My dear parents were as far removed from experi- 
mental godliness as I was. Through ignorance and 
the blindness of mv heart I often felt my spirituoJ 


poverty, but knew nothing of that better portion. 
In this condition I lived till I was seventeen years 
old, when it pleased God so to dii-ect his providence 
that my parents determined to remove to the United 
States of America : and in June, 1847, we were per- 
mitted to step on the shore of the American conti- 
nent. My parents, with a number of our countrymen, 
settled in northern Wisconsin, where we Avere among 
the first settlers of that part of the country. Soon 
after we arrived there it pleased God to lead me to 
the borders of the grave, by means of a severe sick- 
ness, which compelled me to keep my bed for nine 
weeks. During all this time I did not see the danger 
I was in had I died in my impenitent state. 

In our new settlement we were a long time without 
hearing the word of God. Thus we lived without God 
and his grace, and often profaned the Lord's day. 
Finally we found an opportunity to hear the word of 
God at the house of one of our neighbors. Here I first 
saw and heard a Methodist missionary. I knew not 
what kind of preacher this was ; and, above all, I was 
astonished that he kneeled down for prayers, which I 
had never seen a preacher do before. He came after- 
ward again, but on account of sickness could not 
preach. In the summer of 1849 another missionary 
came to us and preached, and continued to visit us 
every three or four weeks. It now pleased my mer- 
ciful heavenly Father to awaken me and bring me to 

In the summer of 1850 I, with a number of others, 
joined the Church, on trial, at a quarterly meeting. 
God, who commanded the light to shine out of dark- 
ness, shined into my heart, and I was now more and 


more convinced by his Spirit of my lost condition. I 
began to pray and seek for redemption, but at the 
same time sought to establish a righteousness of my 
own, while the righteousness which is by faith in 
Christ I knew not. I had no peace with God, for I 
knew him not as a Savior. I now lost all my desires 
for sinful amusements, and they became a terror to 
me. Alas, what a condition and what a struggle ! 
The more I sought to become righteous by my own 
eflforts, the more I came to a knowledge of sin. I 
often kneeled down in the wood, and cried with a loud 
voice to God to hear my prayers, but I found no rest 
for my soul. 

One day, under the preaching of brother F. Kopp, 
in the year 1851, I saw clearly that I had not a true 
and saving faith. I spent the afternoon of that day 
in reading and prayer. That faith, which is the gift 
of God, I now was enabled to exercise. I looked up 
to Jesus and claimed him as my Savior. In a mo- 
ment old things passed away and all things became 
new. I now felt a strong desire to do something for 
the advancement of the cause of God and the salva- 
tion of souls. I received license as an exhorter, and 
labored some time in this office. In July, 1853, I re- 
ceived license as a local preacher, and in the com- 
mencement of the following winter I went to the 
Fond du Lac mission. 

Five years have passed away since I started, and I 
thank God that I stand to-day a monument of his 
mercy and grace. May our merciful Father in heaven 
keep his servants faithful on the walls of Zion, and 
give the grace to declare his truth till the world is 
converted to God! I rejoice and praise Him that he 



hath led me into the way of life, and that I and my 
dear parents have been permitted to experience his 
saving power. Yes, we rejoice in that godliness which 
has the promise of the life that now is and of that 
which is to come. May we be preserved faithful, and 
finally be accounted worthy to sing the song of the 
redeemed before the throne in heaven ! 





I WAS born on the 18th of April, 1819, at Trauts- 
kirchen, Bavaria. My parents endeavored to train 
their chiklren, of which I was the youngest, in the 
fear of the Lord. In due time I was apprenticed 
to a cooper, with whom I came to America in 1837, 
and settled near Cincinnati. 

At this time the Germans knew but little of Meth- 
odism, except that there was a family at Lawrence- 
burg who had united with the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, which produced great displeasure among their 
countrymen. Some time afterward an acquaintance 
of mine rented a farm near the Cincinnati camp- 
ground, and attended the meetings at night, in order 
to observe their doings. This man met me one day 
at the Lower Market in Cincinnati, and told me all he 
had seen and heard. I was astonished that there 
were such fanatics in our enlightened age, and most 
of all that there were Germans engaged in such a 

The year following, 1843, I went to camp meeting 
myself to witness the spectacle, and as soon as the 
evening service had begun, my friend, above alluded 
to, met me there. A young preacher occupied the 



stand, and preached on Rev. ii, 5. I listened very 
attentively, and to my surprise I heard a powerful 
sermon. I became deeply convinced that I needed 
conversion. But being a perfect stranger, and not 
receiving further instructions, I did not know what to 
do when the invitation was given to the mourners to 
meet in the tent for prayer, and consequently I kept 
my seat, greatly distressed in my mind. Presently 
Dr. Nast and another brother came, fixing their eyes 
upon me ; but I can not describe the feelings of that 
moment. I was glad when they left me ; I considered 
this as a magic power of the Methodists, whereupon 
I left the place. While outside of the camp I heard 
the shouts of Israel, which attracted my attention, 
and I resolved to go near, but not quite so near as to 
become a victim of their witchcraft. Seeing their 
strange conduct, which was a mystery to me, I lost 
all my serious impressions and returned home. 

In the year 1844 a revival occurred in the United 
Reformed Lutheran Church, in Avhich brother A. Ar- 
nold and his sister Barbara Ruedel were soundly con- 
verted to God. They told their happy experience to 
my wife, and on her way home from the church, as 
she mused on these things, she was converted, without 
ever hearing the plan of salvation explained by a con- 
verted preacher. When I came home that evening I 
noticed that some strange thing had happened, and 
inquired what it was. She told me, with tears, what 
sister Ruedel had told her of conversion. All of a 
sudden the scenes witnessed at the camp meeting 
rose up before my mind. A few days subsequently 
I had a conversation wath brother Arnold, when my 
resolution was strengthened to serve the Lord ; and 


two weeks afterward I found peace in the blood of the 
Lamb. This took place in February, 1844, three 
miles from Cincinnati, We, the young converts, 
formed the " Zion's Church ;" but as we met with 
many difficulties and opposition, a number of us 
united with the Methodist Episcopal Church. 

Soon after my conversion I felt it to be my sacred 
duty to preach ; but I considered it a temptation of 
Satan, and an inclination of my own heart, and tried 
to subdue it. I was rejoicing in God, and went to all 
my neighbors and spoke to them of the necessity to 
be converted to God ; and it cheered me very much 
to be the instrument, in the hand of God, of leading 
some families to Christ. 

. The way in which I came to make my i&rst effort in 
public speaking was quite strange. There died a 
woman in the neighborhood; and her husband, be- 
cause he could not get any preacher, as he said, to 
attend the funeral, wanted me to sing and pray. I 
consented. But as many persons came, he thought it 
would be a shame if there were no preaching, and 
gave me a text, requesting me to preach from it. 
I tried to excuse myself from taking upon me such 
a responsibility, but in vain. And as there Avere 
many of my acquaintances present, it was nearly 
more than I could bear. The Lord blessed my feeble 
efforts abundantly, and one family dates their conver- 
sion back to this occasion. But soon afterward I 
came into a great distress of mind for doing a thing 
for which I had no authority. But, at the same 
time, I felt greatly relieved by knowing that I had 
done it in all simplicity, and without any desire 
on my part to intrude into a strange office. In a 


short time, however, Rev. John H. Earth gave me 
license to exhort, and afterward I received license 
to preach. 

The way was now clear to my mind, and I knew 
well what was the Avill of the Lord. Another trial 
was coming on, and it was a very painful one too. 
I received a call of the Church to enter the traveling 
ministry ; but my wife was very much opposed to it. 
I remonstrated with her, but without success. And 
now the Lord laid his hands upon us and took our 
little Eliza quite unexpectedly from our midst. Still, 
she would not yield. Again the Lord visited us, and 
laid our dear Margaretha upon the sick-bed, and let 
her come so nigh unto death that I was called from 
a love-feast in Race-Street Church to come home 
quickly, if I wished to See her before she died. 
What feelings were in my bosom I can not describe. 
I begged my wife, with tears, to submit herself to the 
will of God, before we had to give another victim. 
This broke her will ; and our daughter began to re- 
cover the same hour. This was a clear evidence to 
me that the Lord had called me to labor in his vine- 
yard. At the annual conference in 1850 I was ap- 
pointed to Sandusky City, Ohio. The Lord has 
assisted me greatly hitherto. Sinners have been 
awakened and converted, some of Avhom have died in 
peace, praising God and the Lamb for his redeeming 
love. I am still on the walls of Zion, pointing sin- 
ners to the cross, and resolved to be faithful till the 
Lord shall call me hence. 



I was born at Bingen, in the grand duchy of Ba- 
den, Germany, in the year 1809. My parents were 
strict Roman Catholics, and I was brought up in their 
faith, and from my youth taught to observe the 
ceremonies of the Roman Catholic Church. Like 
many others in our old father-land, I felt a desire to 
see the New World, and in the spring of 1834 came 
to America, and settled in Erie, Pennsylvania. The 
next year I was married in the city of Troy, New 
York, to a young American lady, who was a member 
of the Methodist Church. Though matrimony is con- 
sidered by the Papal Church as a sacrament, and is 
invalid unless consecrated by a Romish priest, I so 
far relaxed my prejudices and observed the customs 
of the country, as to consent that my wife should 
have the choice of the minister who should join us 
together. She selected Rev. Noah Levings, D. D., 
who accordingly performed the marriage ceremony. 

In the spring of 1837 we moved to Portsmouth, 
Ohio. I commenced going to the Methodist church 
with my wife, and gradually became attached to their 
doctrine and modes of worship ; but at the same time 
I was very fond of the ball-room and the dance. 

On the evening of the 31st of December, 1837, we 
had a great ball in town, and at the same time the 
Methodists held a watch-night meeting. After spend- 
ing the forepart of the night at the ball-room, 
dancing, suddenly something seemed to say to me, 
" The Methodists hold a watch-night, and you must go 
and see what they are doing." Accordingly I left 
the ball-room about nine o'clock, and went to the 


church and heard a sermon by Rev. Henry Turner, 
then preacher in charge of Bigelow Chapeh I listened 
■with great attention, but could not hear any thing 
that — as I then thought — suited my case. At the 
close of the sermon the minister descended from the 
pulpit, came into the altar, and invited all seekers 
of religion to come forward and kneel around the 
altar for the prayers of the Church, and seek the 
salvation of their souls. 

While some were going forward for prayer and 
some were joining the Church, my conscience told 
me, "You must go, for you are a great sinner, or you 
will be eternally lost." Immediately I conferred not 
with flesh and blood, but yielded to the convictions 
of the moment, went forward, joined the Church, and 
threw myself down at the altar, and prayed and 
wrestled like Jacob of old, till nearly twelve o'clock 
at night, when, by the grace of God, I was enabled 
to shout " glory," having obtained redemption through 
the blood of Christ, even the forgiveness of my sins. 
My wife all this time thought I was at the ball-room ; 
and when I came home and told her what the Lord 
had done for me, she also shouted to God for his 
great mercy. 

My father's family had all practiced dancing, and 
I was fond of it; and the next day after my con- 
version my sister urged me to dance with her. I 
reluctantly consented to do so, not being sufficiently 
aware of the sin and folly of such amusements. 
After I had danced two or three rounds with her I 
checked myself with the sudden thought. What am 
I doing? I felt immediately that I had done wrong, 
ran off and left her, and hid myself in the haymow, 


where I commenced again to cry for mercy. I went 
mourninff for about five weeks on account of this 
sin, when at a class meeting God again, for Christ's 
sake, gave me a conscience void of offense, and I 
could once more rejoice with joy unspeakable and full 
of glory. 

Now a fearful storm of persecution commenced 
against me on the part of my father's family. My 
father declared that he would no longer own me for 
his son, while my brothers and sisters disavowed me 
for their brother. They said I had disgraced the 
family by becoming a Methodist; but God's grace was 
sufiicient for me, and I went on my way rejoicing. I 
had a great desire to labor for the welfare of others, 
and in the year 1839 I received license to exhort, 
and for five years I exhorted among the English ; and 
during all this time I prayed earnestly that God 
would, in his good providence, open a door for me 
to do something among the Germans. Finally, brother 
William Nast and brother Adam Miller, and other 
German preachers, came to Portsmouth to look after 
the welfare of their countrymen in that place. A 
mission was established, and the Lord revived his 
work among the Germans. Many were converted, 
among whom were two of my brothers and their 
wives, who also joined the Methodist Church. Not 
long afterward another of my brothers was converted, 
and became a member of the Church. 

In 1845 I commenced to preach in the Portsmouth 
mission, and in the fall of the same year I was re- 
ceived into the conference and appointed to the 
Wheeling mission. Hitherto the Lord hath stood 
by me and helped me. 



I was born on the 29th of May, 1826, in the grand 
duchy of Baden, Germany. My parents Avere mem- 
bers of the Evangelical Protestant Church, in the 
doctrines of which I was brought up. My father 
died in my thirteenth year, so that I and my younger 
brother were left entirely to the care of our widowed 

In my sixteenth year I was put to a trade ; and by 
being thrown into vain and irreligious associations 
I took part in the wicked practices of the world, and 
became a giddy and Sabbath-breaking young man. 
In the summer of 1846 I worked in Schlettstatt, in 
Elsas. Here, one Sunday morning, quite unexpect- 
edly my younger brother brought me the astonishing 
news that mother had received a letter from our older 
brother, George, who, ten years before, had gone to 
America, and that she was now determined also to 
go herself. 

On the 25th of October, 1846, we left our father- 
land, and on the 2d of November we took ship at 
Havre for New Orleans, where we landed safe on 
the 30th of December of the same year. Our brother 
George lived at that time four miles from St. Louis, 
Missouri, where, for six years, he had been a member 
of the German Methodist Church, and through the 
labors of brother Jacoby had been converted to God. 

Our journey from New Orleans was a very tedious 
one, yet we finally all arrived safely at our brother's. 
The joy of meeting again, after a ten years' separa- 
tion, was, of course, very great. 

In the earlier years of his residence here, my 


brother had written that wild game was very abundant, 
and that sporting and hunting were his greatest 
pleasure on the Sabbath day; but the letter contain- 
ing an account of his awakening and conversion was 
lost, and never came to us. We knew that he and 
his family were Methodists, but had not the most 
distant idea of what it meant to be a Methodist. 

Instead, therefore, of going on a chase after wild 
game, as I expected, and wished him to do, he brought 
out his team and took us all along with him to St. 
Louis to Church. Gladly would I have refused to go, 
as I had no taste nor desire for religious services, 
yet I was ashamed to refuse, and went ; and never 
shall I forget that day. Brother Jost was at that 
time preacher in the Wash-Street Church. I was 
pleased with the sermon, for I could understand what 
the man said.* The light of divine truth was kindled 
in my heart, and there arose in my bosom some 
severe struggles. I disputed with my brother George 
on every point, and sought to justify myself as much 
as possible, yet all in vain; for God's word and my 
own conscience were against me. Finally, the last 
reed on which I leaned — my dependence on my bap- 
tism and confirmation — broke to pieces. The sermons 
of brother Jost struck me like a hammer to break 
my stubborn heart, and brought me like a poor sinner 
to the feet of the Lamb. Through faith I was 
enabled to take refuge in my blessed Savior, in whom 
my soul found rest, and peace, and joy in the Holy 

"■•• In Germany some of the rationalistic philosophers have so mys- 
tified the plain teachings of the Bible that the common people can 
scarcely understand what they say. 


After I had been received into full membership I 
was intrusted with a class. Notwithstanding my ob- 
jections to it, brother Kuhl soon gave me license to 
exhort. But with all my anxiety and desire for the 
salvation of others, the brethren could not get me to 
consent to take license to preach — such were my views 
of the great responsibilities of this work that I 
shrunk from the task; and to rid myself of these 
obligations I removed to Galena, Illinois. There I 
fell into the hands of brother Plank, presiding elder 
of the Iowa district. I finally yielded to the judg- 
ment of my brethren, and my own convictions of duty, 
and set out in this work. I have had some hard fields 
of labor and privations to which I had not been accus- 
tomed, but gladly will I endure all these things for 
the Gospel's sake. I am resolved to spend the re- 
mainder of my days in the service of God and the 


I was born in Bongolzhausen, Prussia, November 
28, 1818. My parents endeavored to be religious, 
although they had not then any experimental knowl- 
edge of religion, and to inculcate correct principles 
into my mind. Neither preacher nor teacher knew 
any thing about heart-felt religion ; indeed, it was 
quite unknown in our neighborhood. When I set out 
for America, my mother said to me, " Keep God be- 
fore your eyes, and depart not from him, and it will 
be well with you." 

In my early youth I had a great desire for salva- 
tion, and sometimes was greatly affected, especially in 
partaking of the eucharist. There were times when 


I prayed earnestly to God to be saved. When doubts 
arose about my salvation, I comforted myself "with 
my good works, because I considered myself as good 
as any one, and if I should not attain to heaven, who 
else would ? But, notwithstanding these early impres- 
sions, I became indifferent with regard to my eternal 
welfare, so that when I emigrated to America, I 
would not have taken any religious book along ; but 
my sister gave me a Bible. 

In the month of October, 1844, I bade farewell to 
my parents and friends, and in the course of a few 
weeks landed safely at New Orleans, and pursued my 
way to Hermann, Missouri, where I met my uncle, 
who had settled there a few years before. He had 
united with the Methodist Episcopal Church, and had 
become a new creature in Christ Jesus. The Meth- 
odists soon gathered about me, and spoke to me about 
religion, and directed my attention to the welfare of 
my immortal soul. They invited me also, very kindly 
and earnestly, to attend their meetings. The first 
meeting that I attended in this country was a quar- 
terly meeting, held by Rev. L. S. Jacoby and Rev. 
Charles Koeneke. I was very much pleased with the 
meeting, and became also deeply convinced of my 
sinfulness. I saw clearly that I must be born again 
to be fit for heaven. I could not help loving this 
people, and so I joined them immediately. I began 
now to search the Scriptures more than I ever had 
done before, and sought the Lord, with tears and sup- 
plication, day and night, praying him to pardon my 
sins, to change my heart, and to give me the witness 
of his Spirit that I was a child of God, 

After a few weeks I left my uncle, and took up my 


residence in another neigliborliood, eight miles dis- 
tant, where I heard much against religion, and nothing 
in favor of it. It was consequently not surprising 
that I found much opposition, and had to endure 
many trials, so that the enemy nearly triumphed over 
me. As the nearest Methodist appointment was eight 
miles distant I could not regularly attend the meet- 
ings, but went once in a while, where I was always 
encouraged to continue seeking the Lord. When I 
came in contact again with the irreligious people 
among whom I lived, I became indifferent, and made 
up my mind to leave the Methodists and to go back 
to the world. But the thought of being lost forever 
occupied my mind so much that I fell on my knees 
and prayed the Lord to show me the right way ; and 
now I can say, to the glory of God, that he heard my 
prayer, and brought me from this wicked place into a 
Christian family. Here I again visited the meetings 
regularly, and sought the Lord more earnestly, till, 
after a lapse of eighteen months, contending with sin, 
unbelief, and doubts, I experienced, during a two- days' 
meeting, held by Rev. C. Eisenmeier, in June, 1846, 
that my Redeemer liveth. The Lord adopted me into 
his family, and I was happy in his love. 

In my youth, when I heard of the heathen, I was 
often deeply affected, and wished that they might 
hear of Christ, and even had a desire to go to them 
and tell them of the Savior of the world. Notwith- 
standing all this, I never thought of becoming a 
preacher. After my conversion I felt as though I 
should do something for the Lord. At that time I 
worked in a flour-mill, where I had the opportunity 
of distributing many religious tracts, and speaking to 


the p^ple about their eternal welfare, and inviting 
them to the meetings. It was my desire for all men 
to be turned to God ; but I dismissed the thought of 
ever becoming a preacher, for I did not consider my- 
self qualified for such an office. 

In 1848 I was appointed class-leader. This office 
appeared so important to me that, on the day when I 
should lead the class for the first time, I could neither 
eat nor drink. The following year I received license 
to exhort, which I accepted with fear and trembling. 
In July, 1850, I was requested to go out as a mis- 
sionary. This caused me a great struggle. I had 
entered the married state only a few weeks before, 
had one hundred acres of land on which I could 
have lived, and was just ready to go into partnership 
with the miller, in whose service I had been. The 
bright prospect of a comfortable life came before me, 
on one hand; but, on the other, the important call of 
the Church. While I meditated on this subject night 
and day, and prayed earnestly to God, the thought 
struck me. If I stay at home and a single soul should 
be lost on account of my disobedience, how could I 
give an account before God ? This thought decided 
the matter, whereupon I went to my field of labor. 
During the past eight years the Lord has been with 
me, and he has blessed my feeble efforts in promoting 
his cause. To Him be all the glory ! 





Having been instructed in the truths of the Gospel 
in early youth, and brought up under the influence 
of praying parents, my youthful heart received many 
religious impressions; and frequently when I had 
done wrong I felt conscious that I was guilty before 
God. In my fifteenth year I approached with a sin- 
stricken heart to God, and could also claim his 
promises; but having no clear conceptions of the 
plan of salvation I did not exercise saving faith, and 
so continued to live after the fashion of this world. 
Although I did not commit open wickedness, yet I 
continued a worldling. Frequently I heard the warn- 
ing voice of the word of God. In my eighteenth year 
I was troubled in mind as I never had been before, 
and felt a pressure upon me that I could not explain. 

I lived at that time near St. Charles, Missouri, 
where we had a preacher, but whether he was con- 
verted or not I can not say, yet his sermons were 
searching. The anguish of my heart constrained me 
at last to go to this preacher, who advised me to pour 
out my heart before God, which I did immediately. 
I felt only too well that I needed his grace. I con- 
tinued praying, till it was said in my heart, Be 


quiet I the Lord is doing thee good. Put thy trust in 
God, he will do all things well. And now my load 
of sin was gone ; I felt peaceful in my heart, and 
enjoyed the sweet and blessed communion with God. 
I began earnestly to search the Scriptures, and my 
Avcak faith was strengthened by the truths of the 
Gospel, into which I was led by the Spirit of God. 
I kept on with prayer and supplication, and drew 
steadily nearer to God, whose love and goodness 
became so sweet to me, that I regarded my youthful 
companions and their worldly pleasures as dross, 
and desired that all might rejoice with me in the God 
of my salvation. 

I may remark here that I did not know at that 
time what this change was called ; nor, indeed, was 
my ignorance removed till several years afterward, 
when I attended a class meeting of our English 
brethren in Iowa. While they communicated their 
experience, it became clear to me that I had once 
been converted. But having been deprived of the 
means of grace, and surrounded with many tempta- 
tions, I had lost the peace of heart, which grieved me 
very greatly. I resolved anew to serve God ; but, 
alas ! the strength was wanting, and all my resolutions 
were in vain. All hope seemed to be gone, when 
I once more experienced the peaceful operations of 
the Spirit of God. I felt that I was lost, and could 
hardly venture to pray for mercy, because I had 
grieved the Spirit of God for so long a time. The 
question arose now, What must I do? I finally came 
to the happy conclusion to throw myself into the 
merciful arms of God. I began to pray and wrestle 

with God, and asked, Is there yet mercy for me? 


then let it be extended to me, a poor sinner. Then 
I heard a still small voice in my heart, saying, There 
is yet mercy ! Immediately the scales fell from my 
eyes, and although it was night, yet the heaven 
seemed to be as bright as day. A new song was put 
in my mouth, and I could go my way rejoicing. 

I kept my conversion to myself, for there was 
nobody to whom I could communicate it, till soon 
afterward Rev. Mr. Korfhage, a German Methodist 
preacher, delivered a sermon in our neighborhood on 
Rom. i, 16, " For I am not ashamed of the Gospel 
of Christ." I had to assent to every thing that was 
said. The Gospel is the power of God to save. I 
felt it; but, alas! I had not confessed the Lord as I 
ought to have done, and resolved now never to be 
ashamed again of my Savior. I promised to do it 
at the first opportunity that presented itself; and did 
it, too, but not without a great struggle. But I 
realized the words , of the apostle when he says, 
"With the heart man believeth unto righteousness, 
and with the mouth confession is made unto salva- 
tion." My heart was filled with unspeakable joy. 
Since that time I have enjoyed much of the grace 
of God. 

Before ever I had found peace with God, I felt 
it to be my duty to exhort my fellow-men, and to 
lead them in the path of life, which I also did as 
often as the opportunity presented itself to me. 
Sometimes a thought like the following rose up before 
my mind : You exhort others, and yet you can not 
help yourself. However, I commenced holding meet- 
ings by singing, prayer, and reading of a sermon. 
The Lord began to revive his work soon after. The 


inquiry was made, What must I do to be saved? 
My own soul became quickened, and others were 
converted to God. We were not yet members of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church at that time, but we were 
on intimate terms with our English brethren, so that 
I was frequently requested to lead their class and 
prayer meetings. And because we were not visited 
by any German preacher, we united with our English 

Brother Mann, a German Methodist preacher, came 
soon afterward, and a German class was formed, and 
I was appointed leader. This occurred in the spring 
of 1848. Rev. L. S. Jacoby came shortly afterward 
and administered the sacrament, on which occasion 
he licensed me to exhort. He gave me also excellent 
instructions, which I never will forget. I tried to use 
my single talent faithfully, till a year afterward, when 
brother Eisenmeier, who was presiding elder at that 
time, at a camp meeting at Sherles Mount, requested 
me to preach. This was quite unexpected, and I 
said, I can not do it ! But he encouraged me, and 
gave me the advice to seek the help of God. I prom- 
ised to make the trial, if it were the will of God. 
As I had scarcely an hour's time for preparation, I 
retired to the woods, fell down on my knees, praying 
God to give me a text. In a short time the following 
words were presented to my mind : " For God so 
loved the world," etc. John iii, 16. This was a good 
text; but what shall I speak? This was also made 
clear to my mind. The signal was given, and I 
hurried to the desk, where all were waiting for me. 
The Lord blessed my feeble effort. The same day 
I received license to preach. 


In the spring of 1850 I was requested to enter the 
traveling ministry. I was not willing to go unless I 
should be convinced that it was the will of God. This, 
too, was made clear to me. I went in the name of 
the Lord, and tried to prepare for the first sermon, 
but I had to struggle with many difficulties. I reached 
my appointment, entered the pulpit, opened the Bible, 
when the following text met my eyes, " The Spirit of 
the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to 
preach the Gospel to the poor," etc. Luke iv, 18. 
The blessing of the Lord rested upon me, and I could 
realize that I, too, might claim this precious promise. 
All doubts about my calling were removed, and thus 
I continued to labor, relying on God, who has ever 
been faithful to me, his poor and feeble servant, giving 
me many seals of my ministi-y, who have found peace 
in the blood of the Lamb. To him be all the glory! 
Nine years have passed since I left my home to be a 
pilgrim in the world, where we have no continuing 
city. However, I am not wearied, and am willing to 
go onward in this way, till the Lord shall say unto 
me, " It is enough." 


I was born on the 26th of November, 1825, in the 
kingdom of Wirtemberg, Germany. My parents be- 
longed to the so-called Pietists, and I had a great de- 
sire to go to their meetings. I sometimes attended 
them, and they produced good impressions upon my 
mind. We had, among our books, Hoifacker's Ser- 
mons, which often awakened me to a sense of my sin- 
ful condition, so that I was affected to tears. My 
father often exhorted and admonished me ; yet, as I 


grew up, my heart was inclined to go in the way of 

I was carefully instructed in the doctrines of the 
Lutheran Church, but I was not much affected in my 
confirmation. The reason of this was the recklessness 
of our pastor ; yet, by the admonitions of my father, 
I was led to form some good resolutions, and often, 
on reading missionary reports, a wish arose in my 
mind to be a missionary, if I only had the grace and 
the talents for such a work. Some years afterward 
my father died, and this was another call upon me to 
repent, and I kept myself away from vain company, 
and began to pray earnestly ; but it appeared to me 
that the more I prayed the more I felt the sentence 
of condemnation in my heart. However, as I was 
one Sunday morning in my stable, I fell on my knees 
and commenced praying. Suddenly a strange feeling 
came over me. I felt inexpressibly joyful, and every 
thing appeared new. All nature seemed to wear a 
new aspect ; but this, alas ! did not continue long. I 
was soon in such temptation that all appeared dark, 
and I was led to believe it was a delusion. 

About this time my brother wrote to me from 
America, and gave me a simple and plain account 
of his conversion. From that hour I had a strong 
desire to go to America; and in the year 1848 I, 
with a number of others, set out for this country, 
and by the good providence of God we landed safe in 
New York on the 18th of May. From thence I went 
to Philadelphia, where I met my sister and brother-in- 
law. After several weeks I went to Baltimore, where 
my brother lived, and in a short time we started 
together on a journey to the west. My brother re- 


mained in Chicago, and I proceeded to my uncle's, 
Charles Nachtrieb, in Detroit, Michigan. He be- 
longed to the Methodist Church, and soon after my 
arrival C. Hehvig came to us as preacher. The 
oftener I visited the Methodist meetings the better 
I liked their mode of worship and their preaching ; 
but especially the plain and pointed exhortations of 
brother Helwig found their way to my heart. 

Soon afterward brother Riemenschneider, the pre- 
siding elder, came along, and more fully discovered to 
me my sinful and corrupt heart, and I concluded that 
my brother had told him my character, as he described 
my case so well ; and I was disposed to think ill of 
my brother on this account. The next evening, after 
brother Riemenschneider preached, an invitation was 
given for penitents to come forward for the prayers 
of the Church. I was ashamed to go then ; but the 
following night, when the invitation was again given, 
as I saw others go, I went too. The most of those 
that went forward obtained peace with God ; but I did 
not. The temptation came to my mind, first, that my 
penitence was too superficial, and God would not bless 
me ; and, secondly, that I had sinned away my day 
of grace, and there was no hope of mercy for me. 
what a wretched condition ! Some days after this, 
as I was busily engaged in sawing wood, the impres- 
sion came to me, " Without faith it is impossible to 
please God ; for he that cometh to God must believe 
that he is, and that he will be a rewarder of all them 
that seek him," On this my faith laid hold, and I 
could at last sing;, 

" Praise the Lord, ye ransomed sinners, 
fleavenly treasures I have fouml." 


Now it was my delight to sing and to pray with the 
people of God, and to let all men know what God had 
done for my soul. 

This was in the fall of 1848. Some time after my 
conversion brother Helwig requested me to take 
charge of a class. I excused myself in various ways, 
but finally consented. In the year 1850 I received 
license to exhort; and in the month of September, 
1851, the quarterly conference gave me license to 
preach. Notwithstanding I often felt a great desire 
to invite sinners to repent, and had many a sorrowful 
hour on this subject, yet I believed I should be ex- 
cused on the ground of my incompetency for this 
great work. In July, 1852, I left the city of Detroit, 
solely with a view to relieve myself of this impres- 
sion. I took passage on a steamboat on Lake Erie ; 
and scarcely had the vessel gotten under way than 
such a storm arose that we were in great danger of 
being lost. Now I saw my folly, and commenced to 
pray, and made a solemn vow that if the Lord would 
bring me once more safe to land I would obey his call 
and do all he required of me. We arrived at Buffalo, 
and from thence I went to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. 
Unexpectedly I received a letter from my brother, in 
the fall, with a request from the presiding elder, 
Nicholas Nuhfer, to ask whether I had become will- 
ing; to enter into the itinerant work. I thought of 
my vow which I had made on Lake Erie, and wrote an 
answer that I would go ; and that when the Church was 
satisfied that I was not efficient, I could then go home 
in peace. I was sent to a new field of labor, where 
I at first had great temptation ; for I believed that if 
God had called me to preach, the people would soon 


be converted. I told my temptation to my presiding 
elder, brother Nuhfer. He said that he had had simi- 
lar temptations in his commencement, but directed me 
to do as he had done. He thought that as the devil 
had not sent him out, he consequently had no right 
to send him home. I was, however, permitted to see 
the fruits of my labor in the awakening and conver- 
sion of poor sinners. I could say much of the won- 
ders of God's grace since my commencement in this 
work, but I must close. My prayer is that God may 
bless this testimony to those who read it. 


In the year 1837 I landed in New York, and from 
thence went to St. Louis, where I became acquainted 
with the German Methodists. Our dear brother 
Jacoby went there also, and planted the standard of 
the cross. A small number were collected around 
him and held meetings in a small church in the upper 
part of the city. I was at that time, 1842, working 
Avith a number of young men in a sugar factory in 
the southern part of St. Louis. We heard of this 
small society, and out of curiosity we went to hear 
the preacher. Here I saw what I had witnessed in 
Germany among the Pietists, to whom my parents 
belonged. I was pleased with the meetings, yet I 
could not then gain my consent to tear myself loose 
from the world. 

In 1843 I went to New Orleans, where the late 
Charles Bremer was carrying on the work of the 
Lord. Through his zeal and kindness it pleased 
God to bring me to a decision. Several days before 
Christmas, during a protracted meeting, I began pub- 


licly to seek the Lord ; and, seeking ■with great 
earnestness, I found him. About a week afterward 
I joined the Methodist Church. 

A year passed away, in which we had many joyful 
and blessed seasons, and I had many strong and 
singular impressions that I ought to preach the Gos- 
pel. Sometimes it appeared as if a voice whispered 
within me, "Go and proclaim the word of the Lord." 
I became alarmed at these impressions, and was 
ashamed to harbor such thoughts, viewing them as 
the result of my own imagination. I prayed the 
Lord to take these thoughts from me, yet the more 
I prayed to be delivered from them the stronger they 
became. I finally thought this feeling might be from 
the Lord. Yet as I was not satisfied on this subject 
I concluded to keep the matter to myself. Still I 
could not become rid of the impression that I ought 
to preach. I went back to St. Louis, and for some 
time there was a great conflict in my mind on this 
subject, and I knew not what to do. 

Brother G. L. Mulfinger was at that time preacher 
in the Wash-Street Church in St. Louis, where I 
belonged. I wrote to him in reference to my exercise 
of mind and requested an answer, desiring to know 
Avhether he thought such impressions came from God 
or from an evil spirit. Weeks and months passed 
away and I received no reply, till one day I took 
up the "Christian Apologist," and read an article 
on the " Call to the Ministry," signed by G. L. M. 
The writer directed all those who have such impres- 
sions to make it known to their preachers. Now I 
felt that I ought to go and make known my feelings 
to my preacher, but still put it off a few months 



longer. Finally, in order to find rest for my soul, 
I went to brother Mulfingcr and told him that I was 
the writer of the letter above alluded to. He told 
me that the quarterly conference would soon be held, 
and I could then get license to preach and go into 
the work. This alarmed me, as I had no idea of 
going out into the regular work. All that I desired 
was peace of mind and a consciousness that I was 
doing my duty. I was, however, willing to follow 
the openings of Providence and the call of the 

I received license at the quarterly conference re- 
ferred to, and set out upon the work. Eight years 
have passed away since I began to labor for the great 
Head of the Church in his vineyard. I feel like 
devoting myself anew to him, and spending the rem- 
nant of my days in his service. May his grace 
sustain me, and may I finally return again with joy, 
bearing my sheaves with me when the great harvest 
shall be gathered home ! 


I was born on the 21st of December, 1833, in the 
province of Westphalia, Germany. My parents were 
strict in bringing up their children, and I was duly 
baptized in the Lutheran Church, the doctrines of 
which, after eight years' instruction, became familiar 
to me. My parents sought to serve God according 
to the best of their knowledge, and regularly read 
their morning and evening prayers out of Benjamin 
Schmallkinn's prayer-book. The children also were 
instructed to read their prayers, but they remained 
ignorant of the true doctrines of salvation. 


After I arrived at my fourteenth year I was con- 
firmed and admitted to the Lord's table, during which 
solemn service the Lord wrought powerfully on my 
youthful heart. In my fifteenth year my parents sent 
me from home to learn a trade. The man to Avhom I 
went belonged to a community of Pietists, and he had 
prayers in his family night and morning. This had a 
good effect on me. Li the second year of my appren- 
ticeship my father died. The last visit I made to my 
father he called me to his bedside, as I was about to 
leave home, and extended to me his emaciated hand, 
and held me for some time without saying a word. 
Finally, his pale lips quivered, and the tears started 
from his eyes, as he said to me, " Good-night, Henry." 
I departed, but with what feelings no one can tell, un- 
less placed in similar circumstances. After I had 
gone about half an hour I, for the first time, bowed 
my knees in prayer, with a broken heart, praying God 
to give my father peace in death. At this time the 
Spirit of God worked powerfully in my heart. I had 
some knowledge of the necessity of the renewal of 
my heart, yet, alas ! I was still deluded by this world. 
In a few days the sad intelligence came that my father 
was dead, and when I learned how earnestly he prayed 
in his last hours I had a hope of his happiness here- 

In the year 1852 I resolved to go to America, and 
in the spring of said year I was ready for my journey, 
and in company with my associates I went heedlessly 
toward the ocean. I was passionately fond of card- 
playing, so much practiced on the dangerous sea voy- 
age across the ocean. After we had arrived in New 
Orleans we started for St. Louis. In St. Louis I 



found, to my joy, one of my friends, with whom I 
staid two months. He was a member of the Meth- 
odist Church. When they had religious services I 
also attended, and continued constantly to do so. One 
evening in a prayer meeting I was deeply impressed, 
and formed the resolution to join this Church, which 
I soon afterward did. Yet I was not clear in my 
mind in reference to the necessity of the new birth ; 
my constant aim was to live in strict morality ; but, as 
it happens with all who seek in this way to improve 
themselves, so it also went with me. Thus I remained 
an unconverted sinner, being suspended between light 
and darkness. 

The time arrived when the Methodists of St. Louis 
held their camp meeting. I went to it, more out of 
curiosity than to seek for God's blessing. In the 
commencement I did not like the meeting, but as I 
had no opportunity of returning home I remained at 
the meeting. Christ, the faithful Shepherd, who had 
often knocked at the door of my heart, appeared 
again and wrought powerfully on me through that 
which I saw and heard. The preaching of God's 
word, the prayers of the pious, and the cries of 
penitent seekers, made a wholesome impression upon 
my heart. My sins appeared as if written in a book 
before me, and I saw them in a clear light. I com- 
menced praying for a clean heart; but the more I 
prayed the more fearful my sins appeared before me. 
Brother Havighorst, when he noticed how I stood 
trembling under the load of my sins, asked me to 
go to the altar for prayer, but I refused, from fear 
that I would grow worse. Again the invitation was 
given, and again I refused. Finally, brother Kuhl 


came along and took me by the arm, saying, " Come, 
brother, we will find a place for you," and led me for- 
ward to the altar of prayer. Now I was enabled to 
look to the Savior by faith, and as I beheld him my 
load of sins vanished away, and I became a new crea- 
ture in Christ Jesus. 

Three years I went forward joyfully in the way to 
life, and then I stood still. That there is no standing 
still in the religious life my sad experience confirms. 
I went to class meetings, to church, and to the holy 
sacrament, and used those means of grace Avhich are 
helps to the pilgrim toward heaven ; but one thing — 
to my sorrow I say it — was neglected, and that was, 
the closet of prayer. The enjoyment from above 
vanished by degrees, and the result was that the yoke 
of Christ was no longer easy, but was a burden to 
me — no enjoyment in God, and no enjoyment in the 
world ; what a sad condition ! I could not remain in 
this state. The world presented its charms, and I 
drew back from the Church. Many a pious heart 
mourned over me, especially the preacher in charge ; 
and ardent prayers ascended to a throne of grace for 
me. I was also aAvare of my sad condition ; but 
again to humble myself, and seek for the lost treasure, 
was too much for my proud heart. 

Satan now sought to make me believe that my con- 
version had all been a delusion, and thus make me 
doubt the great truths of religion. Gladly would I 
have become an unbeliever at that time; yet the 
recollection of what I had enjoyed in the service of 
God remained impressed upon my mind. In viewing 
nature around me, I saw it to be impossible that all 
the order and operations of nature were the efi'ect of 


blind chance. Night and day I was tormented with 
fears. When I lay down at night, my conscience told 
me that if I should die to-night I am a child of per- 
dition. I could not live in this way, and again longed 
for the liberty of the children of God; yet to my 
disijrace be it said that for more than two months I 
lived in the sinful delusions of the world. As often 
as I think of it I feel like thanking God that he did 
not call me to judgment in this condition. 

The St. Louis camp meeting of 1855 approached, 
and I went with firm reliance on the mercy of God 
that he would again receive me. With my sorrowful 
and heavy-laden heart 1 saw the place where 1 had 
first been permitted to feel the power of the world to 
come. Deeply pained at the recollection of my back- 
sliding, I wept and prayed, and Avent all day long 
with my head bowed down. 1 was tempted to be- 
lieve that I had committed an unpardonable sin, and 
was on the borders of despair ; yet, blessed be God ! 
Christ can impart the gifts of his grace to the rebel- 
lious also. Near the close of the camp meeting I 
received power to believe again, Jesus was mine, his 
blood and merits were mine, and I was saved ! The 
language of my heart was then, and still is. Praise 
the Lord for his mercy ! 1 now felt that God had a 
work for me to do, and 1 did not close my ears to the 
heavenly calling. I entered the conference, and am 
now endeavoring to point out the way of life to my 

May this testimony to the grace and mercy of God 
be made a blessing to all who read it ! 




It will be a matter of great interest to all who are 
looking for the spiritual regeneration of Germany, to 
glance at the progress and triumphs of the evangel- 
ical party for the past ten years. After the revolu- 
tions of 1848, it was greatly feared by the compara- 
tively few men of this party, that the forming and 
molding of the new Church relations would, in a good 
degree, fall into the hands of those Avho were the 
avowed enemies of true religion and ungodly in their 
lives. When a proposition was made for a General 
Synod, to be convened at Berlin, such was the fear of 
the truly-evangelical party with regard to the pre- 
ponderating influence of the rationalistic element, that 
the Rev. Frederic RingsdroflF published the following 
protest against sending delegates to the proposed 
synod. He says: 

" The state is now abolishing the connection in 
which it has hitherto stood to the Church, and prom- 
ises, in future, to abstain from all meddling with ec- 
clesiastical affairs. It has therefore been proposed to 
convoke a General Synod, in order to consult and fix 
upon a new organization of the Evangelical Church. 
The resolutions passed by this Synod are expected to 
be concurred in by the people. According to the 
plan proposed, all the members of the Evangelical 


Church, that is, all who call themselves evangelical, 
have the right to elect the delegates to the Genera] 

" But who can not see that if the proposed synod 
shall effect any good, the election must take place ac- 
cording to the principle laid down in Acts vi, 3, where 
St. Peter required that the deacons that were to be 
selected should be men full of wisdom and of the 
Holy Ghost! But, alas! the proposed election is to 
be founded on entirely different principles. Every 
one who is not under civil censures, that is, all those 
who have never been accused of theft, murder, etc., 
have the right to vote for the delegates. They must, 
indeed, call themselves evangelical. But what kind 
of characters do we find among those who call them- 
selves evangelical? 

"Answer 1. Openly -vicious men, drunkards, forni- 
cators, adulterers, etc. 

"2. Such of whom the Bible says, they are liars 
and antichrists. 1 John ii, 22. Many call themselves 
evangelical who openly deny the supernatural con- 
ception of Christ, the atoning efficacy of his blood, 
shed on the cross, and the fact of his resurrection 
from the dead and ascension to heaven. 

" 3. Such as, although they are not open enemies 
of Christianity, yet show, by their walk and conver- 
sation, an entire indifference toward the Lord and his 
word. Though orthodox in profession, you find them, 
on Sunday, in the tavern, in the theaters, at the card- 
table, etc. You hear them profane the name of God, 
and you never see them blush but when they happen 
to sit down at a table where a blessing is asked, or 
the name of Jesus is mentioned. 


" Now, inasmucli as the characters mentioned under 
numbers 1, 2, and 3, form the great majority, and the 
true members of the mystical body of Christ only a 
small minority, in the Evangelical Church, "what can 
we expect? Answer. Nothing else but that the open 
and secret enemies of the cross will have the as- 
cendency in the General Synod, and that the Lord 
and his word will not be glorified by that assembly, 
but rather be put to open shame. Therefore, brethren, 
let us pray, and prevent, if possible, the coming to- 
gether of a General Synod, which will be like that in 
which the high-priest, and through him Satan him- 
self, presided, and in which the Son of God was de- 
clared a blasphemer, and the holy One condemned to 
the ignominious death of the cross. 

"Brethren, if you do not wish to hear soon from 
Berlin a proclamation, either in an open and undis- 
guised manner, or concealed under fair and hypocrit- 
ical terms, to the effect, that the venerable creed of 
the Reformers, which they have sealed with their 
blood, are old wives' fables, unworthy of the intelli- 
gence of our age — if you do not wish this, then you 
must needs take the sword of the Spirit, and contend 
earnestly, in private and public, with the word of God, 
with prayer and supplication, against this proposed 
General Synod. Brethren, be not deceived ! You 
know how long the hearts of believers have longed 
and prayed that another and a better time might come 
for the Church of God; that a Church discipline, 
founded upon the word of God, might stem the tor- 
rent of ungodliness, and prevent the profanation of 
the Lord's supper. But the proposed General Synod 
is not the tree which will bear the sweet fruit of evan- 


gelical spirit and zeal, namely, an apostolic Church 
discipline. Those longings which the Spirit of God 
produced in our hearts will, in all probability, re- 
bound from the hearts of that assembly, like an ar- 
row from an iron shield. How, indeed, should those 
who have gone so long without any restraint, want to 
have any thing to do with Church discipline ? 

" But what shall we do if, in a few days or weeks, 
we shall be invited by our superiors to take part in 
the formation of this Synod? I answer, let us reso- 
lutely protest against it, and have nothing to do with 
it ; for the word of God tells us plainly, not to be 
unequally yoked together with unbelievers; and what 
communion hath light with darkness? Therefore, let 
us pray, testify, warn ; and if the moment arrives 
when violence shall usurp the place of right, we will 
not be guilty of having slept when it was our duty to 
w^atch, pray, and labor. And may the Lord — the 
crucified and risen Lord — who still sits upon the 
throne, and whose scepter no revolution can take 
away, look upon us in mercy, and strengthen his peo- 
ple, that they may stand firm as a rock in these peril- 
ous times !" 

It is only ten years ago since this protest was made 
against the calling of a General Synod, from a fear 
that the infidelity of a majority of the clergy might 
exert a blasting and deleterious influence upon the 
interests of religion. But in what condition do Ave 
find the German Protestant Church now? A won- 
derful change has been effected in the last ten years. 
The monster. Rationalism, has been crushed under the 
ponderous weight of Gospel truth. 

" Within the memory of many yet living the ortho- 


dox Professor Knapp, at Halle, Avho had seven 
hundred theological students, wrote to a Moravian 
brother: 'The Lord answered my prayer to give me 
one scholar that believes in Christ.' Not many years 
ago Dr. Tholuck had to complain: 'The professed 
ministry of Christ has destroyed the temple of their 
Lord. The doctors of divinity, clad in their official 
robes, with violent hands have torn the Lord Jesus 
from his throne, and placed in his stead a phantom, 
which they call reason.' But, thanks be to God! 
' they are dead which sought the young child's life.' 
The Spirit of the Lord swept again through the 
length and breadth of the land of the Reformation, 
and the dry dead bones that have been buried for half 
a century in the sand of a lifeless orthodoxy, and for 
another half century in the dark caverns of infidelity, 
were brought to life. Rationalism is now totally over- 
thrown and put to shame and confusion, not only by 
the theological but by the philosophical schools of 
Germany. From the cathedra and the pulpit, from 
popular and learned literature, from universities and 
common schools, even from some ecclesiastical con- 
sistories and royal courts, streams of living water are 
proceeding, refreshing many thirsty souls, and prom- 
ising to change the wilderness into a garden of the 
Lord. Frederic the Great, Voltaire's companion, had 
called a theologian an animal without reason, and, 
behold! his descendant invites the evangelical Chris- 
tians of all countries to hold a conference in his cap- 
ital, attends that conference in person, and desires, 
individually, to shake hands with the members of the 
Alliance in his own palace. Well did the president 
of the Alliance, in addressing the king, remark : ' His 


majesty had seen many imposing armies, but never 
one like the present — an army not arrayed in ordinary 
military attire, but ready to fight the battles of the 
King of kings with the sword of the Spirit, the shield 
of faith, and the helmet of salvation.' Truly a little 
one became a thousand, and a small one a strong na- 
tion. The Lord hastened it. What a marvelous 
change !" (Dr. Nast, in Methodist Quarterly Review, 
July, 1858, page 434.) 

Should more liberal principles gain an ascend- 
ency, and free and unrestricted religious liberty be 
given to those outside of the pales of the National 
Church, there will be a great and effectual door 
opened to the Methodist Episcopal Church, with her 
itinerating system and religious publications. 

As another indication of the great change which 
has taken place in a few years past, we may refer 
to the fact that the German committee of the Evan- 
gelical Alliance, consisting of Dr. Krummacher, Pre- 
late Kapff, Dr. Von Hoffman, and other distinguished 
divines, invited Dr. Nast to meet them at the World's 
Convention, and address that distinguished body on 
American Methodism. Nothing can more clearly 
indicate a disposition and even a strong desire on 
the part of the committee to have an impartial report, 
than the fact that Dr. Nast was appointed to deliver 
his address immediately after the report of Professor 
Schaff, of Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, on Religion in 
America; especially when it was known that the Pro- 
fessor had entertained and expressed unfriendly sen- 
timents toward German Methodism. The marked at- 
tention and the unanimous response of a hearty amen 
from the large assembly, together with the warm 



expressions of brotherly fellowship to Dr. Nast at 
the close of his address by some of the most distin- 
guished ministers of the Lutheran Church, all evince 
a deep interest in the progress of vital godliness. In 
addition to this they invoked the blessing of the Lord 
upon our mission work among the Germans, and 
asked brother Nast for our Discipline and our prin- 
cipal German Methodist publications, which, as he 
told them in his address, his German brethren in 
America had furnished him for gratuitous distribu- 
tion. The German committee also oifered to pay 
brother Nast's traveling expenses, which offer his 
German brethren generously refused, preferring to 
pay his expenses, as well as make the donation of 
books above referred to ; thus giving evidence of the 
deep interest they feel in letting their father-land 
know what blessings they have received through the 
influence of Methodism. 

I will mention in this connection one more favorable 
indication for the spread of spiritual light in Germany. 
They are now publishing a new Evangelical Church 
paper, as the organ of the Evangelical Alliance, and 
Dr. Nast has been invited to become a contributor 
to it, thus opening another door for the spread of 
evangelical truth in Germany. 

We here present an exhibit of German Methodism, 
for which we are indebted to Dr. Nast : 

" German Methodism, when dated from the forma- 
tion of the first German Methodist society, reported 
to the Ohio conference in the fall of 1838, is just 
twenty years old. The writer of this was then the 
only missionary, and reported 30 members to the con- 
ference. Now we have, inclusive of probationers, 


19,980 in Church fellowship. Our increase during the 
past year was 2,722, while 171 took their transfer 
from the Church militant to the Church triumphant. 
During the twenty years of its existence the Ger- 
man work has had, on an average, a net increase of 
1,000 per year. But if we would count those of our 
members, who, during these twenty years, have died 
in the Lord, and those who, after the division of the 
Church, fell under the care of the Methodist Episco- 
pal Church South, and those of our children who 
joined the English Church, the whole addition of 
German members to the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
in the space of twenty years, would be about 25,000. 
" Again, our own Church — for we shall, in our fur- 
ther remarks, take no more notice of the German 
work in the Church South — has employed during the 
twenty years, on an average, every succeeding year, 
12 missionaries more, so that their number is now 
240. We have 281 houses of worship, and 111 par- 
sonages, valued at $508,063, which would make an 
addition of about |25,000 worth of Church property jj 
per year, for twenty years.* In the acquisition of 
Church property the Germans have, at least, during 
the last ten years, borne as heavy a part of the bur- 
den as members of the Church generally have to bear 
in building houses of worship and parsonages. Our 
American brethren have no conception how much our 
German members give in this respect; how every 
society is visited by one or more German agents every 
year. Many of our missions would have made them- 

-■■ To give a correct statement of Church property, the remaining 
debt should, also, be reported to conference ; but it is done only in » 
few conferences, and I could, therefore, not mention it here. 


selves free from the support of the Missionary So- 
ciety at an earlier period, or to a greater extent, had 
it not been for their heavy responsibilities in building 

" Our Sunday school exhibit is also cheering, with 
the exception of one point. The number of our 
scholars is too small, compared with the number of 
teachers. We have 357 schools, 3,251 teachers and 
officers, 14,124 scholars, and 37,052 books in the 
libraries. We ought to do much more for the rising 
generation of the German population of this country; 
but we have to contend with many difficulties, one of 
which is a lack of sufficient sympathy and interest on 
the part of our own Church in behalf of the Crerman 
Sabbath schools connected with her missions, arising 
from the often-expressed fear that our German Sab- 
bath schools will have the tendency unnecessarily to 
perpetuate the German language in this country. 
This fear is unfounded. There is no danger of our 
German children not learning the English language, 
though we may not give them English instruction in 
our own German Sabbath schools. They have ample 
opportunity to learn English in our public schools, 
and attend, wherever it is practicable, the English 
Sabbath schools of our Church, besides our German 
mission schools. If it were not so, if the fear I have 
alluded to were well grounded, why are our often-re- 
peated appeals to our American brethren, to furnish 
us with male and female teachers, to form English 
classes in our Sunday schools, so seldom successful? 
The truth is, that such service, valuable as it would be 
to us in many respects, can not take the place of the 
work which, in the providence of God, we are called 


to do for the children of our countrymen. To do 
good to the rising generation of the German popuLa- 
tion out of our Church, among whom we are sent as 
missionaries, and thereby to gain the hearts of the 
parents, we must be prepared to give them G-erman 
instruction in our Sabbath schools. The opportunities 
and inducements for German youth to be trained up 
in irreligious principles, through the medium of their 
mother tongue, are so many and so strong, that, if we 
do not make earnest efforts to bring the German 
youth under Cferman, as well as English religious in- 
fluence, their German associations will make them the 
prey of pernicious principles. 

" There is another reason why we need German 
Sabbath schools : The German immigration to this 
country will not cease for some time to come; we 
have only begun to throw the leaven of the Gospel 
among them ; we have a greater work before us than 
what, by the grace of God, we have been able to do. 
But we can not do it without the cooperation of the 
rising generation, born and trained up by pious 
parents, such as we hope will be the case with a 
great part of our children, of whom 2,445 were dur- 
ing the last year dedicated to the Lord in baptism. 
Some of them will become German missionaries, class- 
leaders, and Sunday school teachers; but we need 
for this purpose German schools. Will any Amer- 
ican brother be so hard-hearted as to deprive the Ger- 
man mission work of all this seed-corn? You may 
be sure that the greater portion of the children of 
German Methodists, when they are grown up men 
and women, will be, if at all religious, members of 
our English charges, and scarcely any of our grand- 



children will be found in a German Church. But do 
not begrudge us to keep a part of the second crop 
of our German missionaries as seed-corn for the con- 
version of successive immigrations. 

" I have thus glanced at the prominent points of the 
statistical tables, and I hope the reader will be in- 
duced to look at the details. In giving the total num- 
ber of the membership I added together full members, 
probationers, and local preachers. In calculating the 
net increase of membership I followed the same rule, 
adding the number of full members to the proba- 
tioners and local preachers, as given in the Minutes 
of the preceding year, and deducting it from the sum 
total of this year." 



New York 

Eock Kiver 

Upper Iowa 


North Ohio 

South-Eastorn Indiana. 


Southern Illinois 

Home work 

California (1857). 
Germany ., 



















In addition to this satisfactory exhibit of the num- 
ber of preachers and members in the different con- 
ferences, we present, from the same source, a table 




showing the means employed for extending the influ- 
ence of Methodism among our foreign population : 



New York 

Eock River 

Upper Iowa 


North Ohio 

South-Eastern Indiana, 


Southern Illinois 

Home work 

California (1857) 




















063 357' 3,251 14,124 37,052 26 2,445 

Dr. Nast presents a detailed view of the financial 
condition of German Methodism, of which we can 
give only the summary. He says : 

" The German membership in the states — not reck- 
oning the infant work in California and Germany — 
amounting to 18,831, gave, in the last conference 
year, for the support of the ministry, $44,872.92 — 
per member, |2.43, 7 mills ; for conference claimants, 
$1,490.52 — per member, 6 cents, 4 mills; for Mis- 
sionary Society, $6,946.09 — per member, 33 cents, 
3 mills; for tract cause, $501.26 — per member, 2 
cents, 5 mills ; for Bible Society, $590.75 — per mem- 
ber, 3 cents, 1 mill; for Sunday School Union, 
$346.57 — per member, 1 cent, 8 mills. For all these 
objects together, $53,920.68— per member, $2.90.5. 


" This exhibit is certainly creditable to the German 
■s\'ork. It shows the hearty good-will of a poor peo- 
ple to do at least something for each of the benevolent 
objects presented by the Church. Might not our 
brethren in the ministry make good use of our ex- 
hibit in taking up their various collections, by exam- 
ining the Minutes of their respective conferences 
and comparing the contributions of their societies, 
per member, with what the Germans give, per mem- 
ber? Yet we wish not to be understood as if we 
thought we had any thing to glory of. On the con- 
trary, we published the financial survey of the Ger- 
man work in the Apologist for the purpose of showing 
our membership how far roe are still behind in the 
support of the Grospel, and to stimulate to greater ex- 

" With the above-mentioned reduced appropriations, 
if we estimate the support of a German missionary — 
we have scarcely any single men — at $500 in the 
New York conference, and at $400 in the western 
conferences, the Germans will have to raise, during 
the present conference year, for the support of their 
ministry, per member, in the New York conference, 
$1.96; in Rock River, $4.06; in Upper Iowa, $3.59; 
in Cincinnati, $2.76; in North Ohio, $2.72; in South- 
Eastern Indiana, $2.43 ; in Illinois, $4.45 ; in South- 
ern Illinois, $2.87 ; or at an average, taking the 
whole German work together, in those eight con- 
ferences, per member, $3.11 — not reckoning house- 
rent, moving, and traveling expenses. 

" In the English work of the Cincinnati conference 
the number of preachers is 140, and of members, 
30,663. The average amount paid by each member 


for the support of the ministry is $1.94; for confer- 
ence claimants, 4 cents, 8 mills; for missions, 39 
cents, 8 mills; for the Tract Society, 1 cent; for the 
Bible Society, 4 cents, 2 mills ; for the Sunday School 
Union, 1 cent. The general average for all purposes 
is $2.48, 2 mills. 

"Is this not as much as should be expected from 
the German members with their present numbers? 
Some promising new German mission fields in the 
different conferences could not be taken up this year; 
other fields had to be contracted, and should another 
deduction in the appropriations be thought necessary 
by the General Mission Committee, to make out the 
annual appropriations, the G-erman mission work must 
he seriously injured, and its extension heyond its pres- 
ent limits prevented. In consequence of being under 
the necessity of curtailing our home work, there are 
already five missionaries less employed than last year ! 

"Those who are under the impression that, in view 
of our mission funds being needed for China, India, 
and other foreign missions, the appropriations for the 
German work in this country ought to be still less, 
and that the German membership ought to do still 
more for the support of the Gospel, I would ask to 
compare the amount of the contributions of the Ger- 
man membership of the Cincinnati conference, Avith 
those of the English membership of the same con- 
ference, as shown in the statistics. The Cincinnati 
conference, we may suppose, will give, as nearly as 
any other, the average amount of the contributions 
of the English membership in general. The reader 
will see that the Gfennans give per memher more than 
the English for the support of the ministry, as well as 


for conference claimants, and the different benevolent 
institutions of the Church, with the exception of the 
Bible Society, for which both happen to give equally. 

"But some may say, 'if the Germans give so much 
more than the English, the contrary of what you 
wish to prove follows ; that is, the German preachers 
are paid better, and should not need the help of the 
Missionary Society any longer.' This would cer- 
tainly be the case, if the number of the members 
were the same in the German and English part. But 
how vast is the difference ! The English membership 
of the Cincinnati conference is 30,663; that of the 
German membership only 2,780. Whoever will think 
of this fact, will see at once that the German preacher 
can not get so full a support as the English. And 
there is another vast difference in the ahility to give, 
which exists between the German and English mem- 
bership. That part of the German population which 
belongs to our Church is, with few exceptions, so 
poor that, were they members of the English Church, 
scarcely any contribution would be expected of them. 
How different is the case with our American breth- 
ren! How few of them are so poor as the majority 
of German members! How many of them are rich, 
wealthy, or at least competent! And yet they give 
less per member than their Grermaii brethren. If 
they would give for the missionary cause per mem- 
ber as much as the Germans give per member, none 
of our foreign or home missions would need to be 

" In connection with this exhibit of German Mefh- 
odism, I would, also, state to what extent the German 
Methodists in this country support the publications 


of our Church. The Apologist has a subscription of 
8,900; the Sunday School Bell, 11,100, among a 
membership of not quite 19,000. According to an 
exhibit made by our Western Book Agents, there 
were sold, in the year 1857, of our own German pub- 
lications, 37,822 bound volumes, containing 8,196,753 
pages, and 2,056,400 pages of tracts, and 4,854 vol- 
umes of religious books, imported from Germany." 

In thus looking at the progress of German Meth- 
odism, both here and in the father-land, we are led to 
exclaim, "What hath not God wrought!" But we 
confidently believe that these are only the beginnings 
of a work still greater; and that the next generation 
will behold results almost beyond our conception. 
May the good Lord, who has hitherto sustained his 
servants in their weakness, be with them in his power, 
and grant unto them, according to the riches of his 
glory, every gift and grace in their efforts to " spread 
Scriptural holiness over these lands !"